Princess Märtha Louise’s boyfriend Shaman Durek encouraged her to reach out to Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan

By Zach Harper

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have some friends they can turn to for advice and support if they ever need some people who are outside the British Royal Family but definitely understand exactly what they’re going through: Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and her boyfriend, Shaman Durek.

In an interview with Tatler, Durek (real name Durek Verrett) said he encouraged the only daughter of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway to get in touch with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after seeing the Harry and Meghan: An African Journey documentary that aired earlier this year. In it, the couple shared the frustrations and media scrutiny they’ve been dealing with since they started dating.

Durek and Märtha Louise, seen leaving a TV studio in Oslo in May, are no strangers to press attention themselves. Photo: © Stian Lysberg Solum/AFP via Getty Images

“I told my girlfriend to reach out to them, so we can all have a family pow-wow because they’re cousins,” Durek told Tatler. “The fascinating thing is that I had maybe seven meltdowns, and then I learned very quickly, thanks to my girlfriend and her family, that this is a crash course and you need to learn how to deal with this.”

Like Meghan, Durek has had to quickly adapt to dating a member of a royal family, and he’s also American. Their relationship has been the subject of extensive press coverage since the two revealed they were dating earlier this year. The princess also received criticism for using her title in a series of seminars hosted with her boyfriend over the summer. She had teamed up with him for workshops called “The Princess and the Shaman” that were intended to take those who took part on a journey of “self-discovery.”

In an Instagram post announcing their happy news in May, Märtha Louise praised her boyfriend, who she called her “twin flame” while also clapping back at those who were criticizing their relationship.

“He has made me realize that unconditional love actually exists here on this planet,” she wrote. “He embraces all of me without question or fear. He makes me laugh more than anyone, has the most profound wisdom to share and all the bits in between from the diversity of his being. I feel so happy and blessed that he is my boyfriend. Thank you my love, for including me so generously into your family. I love you from this eternity to the next.

“And to those of you who feel the need to criticize: Hold your horses,” she continued. “It is not up to you to choose for me or to judge me. I don’t choose my man to satisfy any of you or the norms or boxes you have chosen in your mind for me to be in. I don’t thrive there, nor do I exist in your illusion about me. I choose from love. And that’s it. Shaman Durek is merely a man I love spending my time with and who fulfills me. So thank you for respecting my actions and my choice of partner. All I know at this moment is that we love each other and I am super happy.”

MORE: ‘I can definitely empathize’: Kim Kardashian speaks out on Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry

Meghan and Harry are currently on a six-week extended break from royal duties, and are rumoured to be travelling to the United States to spend American Thanksgiving with Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother. They’re also going to spend Christmas with her, though it is unclear whether they will do so in the US or at their home of Frogmore Cottage.

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