Shaman Durek Verrett ‘sat down’ with King Harald V and Queen Sonja to discuss ‘black culture’
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway’s fiancé Shaman Durek Verrett has revealed how he discussed ‘black culture and what I’ve been through’ with her parents King Harald V and Queen Sonja.
Durek, 48, took to TikTok in a live broadcast earlier this month to comment on Prince Harry’s recent praise for the Dutch Royal Household and the Norwegian Royal Family for their work in combating racism and addressing unconscious bias.
The Shaman – whose celebrity following includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Nina Dobrev and James Van Der Beek – explained how he had a ‘conversation with my father-in-law, King Harald, and told him about black culture and what I’ve been through’.
‘I showed him all the death threats and all the racial slurs I’ve had and so on. And you know, it was so kind of him to sit down with me, and the Queen too, and listen to everything I had to say. It was really beautiful,’ he added in the clip, according to Norwegian newspaper VG.
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway’s fiancé Shaman Durek Verrett (pictured together in June 2022) has revealed how he discussed ‘black culture and what I’ve been through’ with her parents King Harald V and Queen Sonja
In the same video, he said he was happy the Duke of Sussex, 38, realised the work he and ‘Princess Märtha’, 51, have done to be able to talk to her family about racism.
He then recalled a conversation with his soon-to-be father-in-law, saying: ‘Then for him to be such a wise king, he sat down and said, “Listen, I’m going to sit down, the queen is going to sit down, the prince is going to sit down, and we want to hear all about how it is with you as a black man, what it was like for you growing up, what racism looks like, all the different ways that racism manifests itself and all the things that you’ve dealt with.”‘
He also discussed the ‘progressive’ King of Norway in an Instagram Live, according to the publication.
In November, King Harald spoke out against the racism towards his future son-in-law, insisting: ‘The racist attitudes Durek Verrett has been subjected to, especially on social media, we strongly oppose.’
Durek, 48, took to TikTok in a live broadcast earlier this month to comment on Prince Harry’s recent praise for the Dutch Royal Household and the Norwegian Royal Family for their work in combating racism and addressing unconscious bias. Pictured, King Harald V of Norway and Queen Sonja in September 2022
The King and Queen of Norway and Princess Märtha Louise pictured in July 2017 at the unveiling of Norwegian Trekking Association gift for The Queen of Norway’s 80th birthday
As part of a longer statement announcing that Märtha Louise has renounced her official duties but will still keep her royal title following her engagement, the King dedicated part of the note to condemn the racism experienced by Durek.
In his statement, via Royal Central, King Harald said: ‘It is a strength that the Royal Family reflects the ethnic diversity that exists in Norway.
‘It can be difficult to understand how direct or indirect, conscious or unconscious racism can be experienced, for those of us who are not in it ourselves. Unfortunately, there are many in Norway today who experience discrimination and racism. We must work together to put an end to this.’
Upon announcing that his daughter will no longer represent the Royal Household in any form, King Harald said Princess Märtha Louise would be able to keep her royal title.
However, he re-iterated that the mother-of-three – who initially stepped back as a working royal in 2019 – will not be allowed to use it in any future commercial partnerships with her partner Durek.
A statement at the time said: ‘The princess and her fiance Durek Verrett will clarify the distinction between their own activities and the Royal Household.
‘This means, among other things, that they must not use the title of princess or refer to members of the Royal Household in their own social media channels, in media productions or in connection with other commercial activity.’
As such, Durek’s social media videos in which he mentions the Royal Family have caused controversy online, with some of the Norwegian press reporting on the Shaman ‘breaking the new rules’.
It comes amid reports that Märtha Louise has allegedly delayed her wedding to Durek amid his ongoing battle with kidney disease.
The European royal announced her engagement to the Los Angeles-based ‘spiritual guide and gifted healer’ last year.
Although the couple had not publicly announced any wedding plans, a Norwegian media outlet has reported that Märtha and Durek have put the nuptials on hold.
According to Se og Hør, Durek is struggling with ‘severe kidney disease’ – a condition he’s been battling for almost three decades.
Speaking on his podcast The Moments That Made Me, Durek previously claimed that the condition caused him to go into cardiac arrest – but did not reveal when the incident took place.
He said: ‘I had high blood pressure, just like my father and grandfather, but I never took it seriously. So, it destroyed my kidneys, and I went into cardiac arrest.
‘It was one of the most defining moments of my life. I was dead for about four and a half minutes. And when I had been revived, I had suffered a brain injury. I was in a wheelchair for almost two years and needed dialysis for eight years.’
According to the Norwegian publication, the shaman is having to go into a US facility up to five times a week for dialysis – a treatment that manually performs the kidney’s function by filtering waste out of the body.
Femail contacted Princess Martha and Durek Verrett for comment.