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Who is Princess Märtha Louise of Norway?

Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise was born on 22 September 1971 at the Oslo University Hospital, in Oslo. She is the daughter of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway. At birth, she was not in line to the throne because, at the time, only males could inherit the throne. However, this is not the case today.

In 1990, the Norwegian constitution was changed. The law stated that the eldest child regardless of gender would be able to inherit the throne. Those women born specifically between 1971 and 1990 are given succession rights, but their brothers would be before them in the line of succession. As a result, Princess Märtha Louise was given succession rights after the constitutional change. She is currently fourth in line to the throne after her brother, Crown Prince Haakon’s two children: Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus. Her Highness is also in line of succession to the thrones of the sixteen Commonwealth realms as a great-great-granddaughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom.

Princess Märtha Louise’s Fund was founded on 15 September 1972. The charity fund awards money to projects carried out by non-governmental organisations. It provides assistance to disabled children under the age of 16 in Norway.

The Princess studied physiotherapy and was trained as a Rosen Therapist. Princess Märtha Louise has not practised her profession of physiotherapy because she chose to establish her own commercial entertainment business. After she started her own business, she began paying income tax. In 2002, her father, King Harald issued a royal edict which removed the style of being recognised as Royal Highness in Norway; when abroad, she is referred to in the style of Highness. She still does some royal duties on behalf of her father, King Harald and is still fourth in line to the throne. In 2003, Her Highness took part in Oslo Gospel Choir’s Christmas concert performing a solo.

Princess Märtha Louise claims she can communicate with angels and animals, and so this drove her to start her own therapy centre, Astarte Education, named after one the oldest goddesses in the Middle East in 2007 alongside her friend, Elisabeth Nordeng. She faced a lot of criticism for this decision.

Princess Märtha Louise married author Ari Behn in Trondheim on 24 May 2002. In October 2004, Märtha Louise and Ari moved to New York. She released her first book, a children’s story, called Why Kings And Queens Don’t Wear Crowns.

Three major things happened in the year 2007. Her Highness defended Astarte Education on NRK, the Norwegian public service television network. She also became the first member of the Norwegian Royal Family to appear in a court of law as she wanted to halt sales of a book entitled Martha’s Angels. Additionally, she was the editor of the Norwegian book of fairytales Prinsesse Märtha Louises eventyrlige verden, Eventyr fra jordens hjerte, Rodinia.

The Princess is currently separated from her husband Ari Behn. The announcement was made by The Royal Court in 2016. Their divorce will be the first in the modern history of the Norwegian Royal Family. The couple has three children: Maud Angelica (b. 2003), Leah Isadora (b. 2005) and Emma Tallulah (b. 2008).

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