A Norwegian princess has shared the racism her boyfriend faces in a frank Instagram post.
Princess Martha Louise, who is fourth in line to the throne in Norway, is dating Shaman Durek and said their relationship had given her “a crash course in how white supremacy is at play” in the world.
Her post came as Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, spoke about her experience as a biracial woman in a message to the graduating class of her former high school, in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Admitting to her own failures, Princess Martha added dating him had shown “the way I have consciously and subconsciously thought of and acted towards black people. How I have taken my rights for granted - never looked properly at what racism really is, because it has been comfortable for me that the system is in place.
“I am not proud of it, but I realise I need to grow into understanding this deeply rooted system to be able to be part of the dismantling of it.”
She said she needed to “grow and educate” herself in order to “move from being against racism to being anti-racist”.
As well as talking about her own unconscious bias, Princess Martha, who is not part of the royal household in Norway, revealed her friends had assumed Durek “lies about everything” and is “evil for being kind”.
She continued: “It is assumed that Durek is not a good person who actually loves me, but has manipulated me into loving him and keeps manipulating me in our relationship. How he will exploit me financially.”
Princess Martha, 48, said both she and Durek had received death threats for their relationship.
Durek Verrett is an author who is touted as Gywneth Paltrow’s spiritual advisor.
He has faced a lot of criticism for his work and recently had to apologise for generalising Norwegians when he slammed publishing houses for not putting out one of his books.
The book was pulled by the publisher for its claims about cancer, particularly that sufferers bring it on themselves.
Announcing their relationship last year, Durek and Martha claimed they were “twin flames” and believe they dated in a past life.
Earlier this year Durek told Femail he and Martha planned to live together once the lockdown is over, having been separated during the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: “It (marriage) is definitely not off the table. Our plans are eventually to live together with each other. Not in Norway, but in the US.
“No matter what people say about us, it is our life. Märtha and I are going to live the way we decide to live.”
Princess Martha was previously married to Norwegian author Ari Behn, with whom she had three children. They divorced in 2017 and he took his own life in December 2019.
She takes on very few royal roles and is a full-time businesswoman, having had her “royal highness” title removed in 2002. But she has also been criticised for using her title as a princess in her work and marketing.
As a descendant of King Edward VII, Martha is in line to the throne in 16 Commonwealth realms, and was 30th in line to the British throne when she was born.