King ‘should have stopped daughter’

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Royal experts in Europe claim that Norway’s King Harald should have stopped his daughter, Princess Martha Louise, from promoting a British medium during a seminar her so-called “angel school” conducted over the weekend. They say the princess’ association with the medium, who claims she can communicate with the dead, can damage the stature of the royal family in Norway.

King Harald reviewing his royal guards last month. He hasn't commented on the latest controversy swirling around his daughter. PHOTO: Forsvaret

King Harald reviewing his royal guards last month. He hasn’t commented on the latest controversy swirling around his daughter. PHOTO: Forsvaret

Martha Louise, fourth in line to Norway’s throne, only recently returned home to Norway after spending the past few years living in London but already has stirred up a fuss with her latest project. She and her partner Elisabeth Nordeng charged followers NOK 1,540 (USD 250) to attend the seminar that featured British medium Lisa Williams, who claims she can help cure the ill and arrange contact with dead loved ones.

Norwegian bishops were the first to criticize the princess’ involvement with Williams and other royal watchers have joined them. “King Harald should have told her long ago that this is not acceptable,” Johan T Lindwall, a Swedish author who follows royals for Swedish newspaper Expressen, told newspaper VG. “King Harald should have stopped his daughter’s appearance with Lisa Williams.”

Officials at the royal palace have, as usual, issued a curt “no comment” to requests for reaction to Princess Martha Louise’s latest exploits. She has long been criticized for commercially exploiting her royal title and raised eyebrows when she and Nordeng started up their training programs, now called Astarte Inspiration, to help clients get in touch with their angels. Appearing on stage with someone who claims to be able to contact the dead has set off more controversy.

“It’s one thing to have a private belief in something, but something quite different to assert this belief in public,” said Robert Fitzwilliams, a British royal expert.”To me, she seems unwise.”

Lars Hovbakke Sørensen, historian and royal expert in Denmark, told newspaper Dagbladet that Princess Martha Louise “can damage the entire Norwegian royal family. The most important, of course, is how Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit maintain their roles, but the princess means a lot for the royals’ overall popularity.”

Princess ‘understands’ she may damage the royalty
Martha Louise, age 42, has long been viewed as headstrong and determined to do what she wants, with her father mostly remaining quiet about her various commercial ventures. Even Martha Louise, though, said she understands that her appearance with a self-professed clairvoyant can damage the royal family.

“When we started the angel school in 2007, people said that would damage the royal house , too,” she told Dagbladet. “Everything is very damaging for the royal house. But, of course, I see that it can be.

“At the same time I hope that now the angel school is so established as the job I have, and the royal house is something else. But I am part of the royal family.”

She earlier told state broadcaster NRK that she personally doesn’t see the point of taking contact with the dead, but she wants to be open to things she doesn’t understand. She called her appearance with the British medium “a bit of an experiment.” Berglund