Norway’s Princess Martha Louise had been staying out of the media spotlight for a while, but re-emerged this week when a new museum exhibit opened in honor of her parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja. And by Friday she was getting publicity after contributing to yet another book on angels.
She and her partner, who now goes by the name of Elisabeth Nordeng (formerly Samnøy), have already enjoyed strong sales of an earlier book that the princess said dwelled on how people can “come in contact with their own guardian angels.” The new book, she says, “delves into the angels’ universe. Here we go deeper into this and offer examples of how people and angels are both different and the same.”
Entitled Englenes hemmeligheter (literally, “The angels’ secrets”) and with the name of “Princess Märtha Louise” prominently displayed on the cover above Nordeng’s, the book clearly is aimed at piquing a potential buyer’s curiosity. The princess has been criticized for years for profiting from her royal title but she dismisses it, responding that “I am a princess,” albeit with an unusual business.
She and Nordeng still run self-development programs at their so-called “angel school” and their new book likely will once again sell well both at home and abroad. A book reviewer for Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), though, called it “a book with many claims and no footnotes,” with “text where lots of answers raise new and critical questions” that in turn go unanswered. NRK wrote that the book “clearly is aimed at an angel-oriented audience and not at anyone who has questions on the phenomenon itself.” There is no information about how the princess and her partner know what they’re writing about. One definition of an angel, according to NRK’s reviewer, was clipped and pasted from Wikipedia, but other sources were lacking.
“How do they (the authors) know that angels need us like we need them?” wondered NRK reviewer Marta Norheim. “I always feel insecure when folks go around and know the answers to religious questions, without feeling they need to explain themselves.”
Martha Louise told reporters this week that she doesn’t think their book will raise more eyebrows. “Talking with angels is something that’s very natural for us, anyway,” she told news bureau NTB. And she thinks she has gained more understanding for her contact with angels in recent years.
Asked whether she thought her angel business had enriched the lives of the royal family, she laughed and said “You’ll have to ask others about that.”
She and her brother Crown Prince Haakon and sister-in-law Crown Princess Mette-Marit, meanwhile, joined King Harald and Queen Sonja on Wednesday when the government presented them with the first of several museum exhibits featuring various royal objects that otherwise have been stowed away in royal storage rooms. The exhibits are mounted as a gift on the occasion of the monarch’s 75th birthday on February 21 and the queen’s on July 4.
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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