Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise
Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise was born at Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo on 22 September 1971. She is the oldest child of His Majesty King Harald and Her Majesty Queen Sonja. She has one brother, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon. Princess Märtha Louise does represent the Royal House of Norway in an official capacity.
The Princess was named after her father’s mother, Crown Princess Märtha, and her great-great grandmother, Queen Louise, the mother of King Haakon VII. A constitutional amendment adopted in 1990 established the right of eldest born child to succeed to the Throne regardless of gender; however, as the amendment entered into force long after the Princess and Crown Prince were born, it was decided that males would continue to take precedence over females for children born prior to 1990.
Princess Märtha Louise and her brother spent their childhood at Skaugum Estate, near Oslo. Her parents attached great importance to giving their children an upbringing that was as similar as possible to that of other Norwegian children, and both the Princess and the Crown Prince attended a municipal day-care centre and a local primary school, and took part in various after school activities. The Princess sung in a choir and played the flute, and for many years she was a member of a folk dancing group at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. She was also an avid equestrian.
The Princess has a long standing interest in equestrian sports. Here at Oslo Horse Show 2017. Photo: Mariam Butt / NTB scanpix
Princess Märtha Louise became engaged to the author Mr Ari Behn (1972-2019) on 13 December 2001. The couple were married in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 24 May 2002. Bishop Finn Wagle presided over the ceremony. In 2016 the couple decided to part ways, and they were divorced in 2017.
The Princess and Mr Behn have three daughters, Miss Maud Angelica Behn, born at Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo on 29 April 2003, Miss Leah Isadora Behn, born at the couple’s summer home, Bloksbjerg at Hankø, on 8 April 2005 and Miss Emma Tallulah Behn born at Lommedalen on 29. September 2008. All three were christened in the Palace Chapel: Miss Maud Angelica 2 July 2003, Miss Leah Isadora 16 June 2005 and Miss Emma Tallulah 20 January 2009.
The Princess and Mr. Durek Verrett announced their engagement 7 June 2022.
Princess Märtha Louise and Mr. Durek Verrett announced their engagement 7 June 2022. Photo: Daryl Henderson / NTB
The Princess lives with her daughters in Lommedalen, in Bærum outside of Oslo.
No official duties
From November 2022, Princess Märtha Louise no longer carries out official duties for the Royal House of Norway, but she serves as the chair of the board of the Princess Märtha Louise’s Fund.
Princess Märtha Louise's Fund was established on 15 September 1972 and the return on the fund’s investments is used to support measures in Norway to benefit children with disabilities. The allocation of grants takes place each year on 22 September, which is Princess Märtha Louise’s birthday.
Today Princess Märtha Louise conducts various commercial activities under her sole proprietorship, including publication of books, sale of clothing and beauty products and lecture tours.
In the early 2000s, Princess Märtha Louise was deeply involved in cultural activities, and especially in disseminating traditional Norwegian fairy tales, among other things as part of a storytelling series on Norwegian television. In January 2002 the Princess launched independent professional activities in the cultural sphere and as a Rosen therapist. As of that date she has been self-employed and subject to Norwegian tax laws.
From 2007 to 2019 the Princess ran Astarte Education/Soulspring with Elisabeth Nordeng. In 2018, the Princess launched the YouTube channel HEST360 together with Geir Kamsvåg, and in 2021 she became a partner in the HÈST clothing brand.
The Princess is the author of several books and audiobooks, and has participated in the production of television programmes for children.