Princess draws another crowd

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Hundreds of people turned up to hear Princess Martha Louise and her partner Elisabeth Samnøy talk about the importance of “listening to your heart” over the weekend, and join in a group meditation led by the princess. She was the top attraction at an annual exhibition of alternative lifestyles and health treatments.

The exhibition, called Alternativmessen , started out 17 years ago inside an office building in Oslo. It’s steadily grown in popularity, moving to the large Oslo Spektrum Arena and now, to the country’s largest exhibition hall at Lillestrøm, northeast of the city.

Nearly 15,000 were expected to have visited around 250 exhibitors, attended lectures and courses during the weekend. The sheer level of interest suggests that what once was considered “alternative” is now almost mainstream.Many, of course, came to have a relatively close encounter with a member of their royal family. Princess Martha Louise launched a new book this autumn advising people how to find their own guardian angels and define their auras, and the exhibition provided another opportunity to promote it. She and her partner in what’s widely known as “the princess’ angel school” have received loads of publicity in recent weeks and their book is reportedly selling well.

“Close your eyes,” instructed the princess at Saturday’s session, and nearly a thousand people did. She then asked them to recall their last time at a beach. Was it warm or cold? Could they hear the sound of the waves? It was all about getting in touch with one’s senses, and her audience seemed to love it.

“Martha is a pillar for the alternative, because of her position,” one spectator told newspaper Aftenposten . “She makes alternatives visible for a lot of us. She’s brave.”

Organizers of the weekend exhibition candidly admit that the princess gave a big boost to this year’s event. Her mother-in-law was on hand as well, as Marianne Solberg Behn also has written a book that appeals to alternative lifestyles and healing.

Asked once again whether she has any reservations about using her “princess” title for commercial purposes, Martha Louise shrugged her shoulders and told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) yet again that she did not. The title “is a part of me,” she said.