Princess Märtha Louise sat down for an interview with Expressen about her highly-sensitive nature, and her feelings of unworthiness because she didn’t understand why people would look up to a princess.
“I felt I was not good enough, did not understand why people looked up to me just because I was a princess,” she said in the interview.
“I had not done anything, I had been born with that status.”
Princess Märtha Louise says it got to the point that she wanted to see if she was a real princess by sleeping on a pea, like the story The Princess and the Pea.
“When I did not get any bruises, I became terrified.”
The Princess and her friend, Elisabeth Nordeng, were interviewed to promote the book they co-wrote, Born Sensitive (Norwegian: Född sensitiv), about being highly sensitive.
Per the bookseller website Adlibris, the book is the first time that the two tell their “very personal story of life as high sensitivity [sic], and how the innate personality trait has become a strength.”
Notably, Princess Märtha Louise writes about growing up as a member of the Norwegian Royal Family and the pressures it placed on her.
When her parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja, would ask her to greet guests, she told Expressen that, “We highly sensitive look behind masks and look in the spaces when we get together with people. When you meet someone, it’s like having our nerves outside the body and feeling the ones we meet.”
“It’s a bit difficult in my situation when to mingle. Preferably, I want to ask what is the greatest dream of others, what keeps the person back. But in ten minutes you will not get that far, so it will be a lot of talk about the weather anyway. ‘Small talk’ is not high sensitivity.”
She also spoke about the nerves when, as the lowest rank member of the Royal Family, she would be last in the processions in and out of churches, she felt that “I would not survive that everyone was staring. But I did.”
When people would get nervous in her presence – nervous that they were speaking to a princess – she would blame herself for being nervous as well and causing it.
Princess Märtha Louise also spoke to Expressen about her younger brother, Crown Prince Haakon, and the bond between the siblings.
“Having someone to talk to, who understands and who has it in the same way. We have a little different growth, as my brother would take over, but we are very close.”
She continued, telling a story about her strict grandfather, King Olav, who, when angry at Crown Prince Haakon, would stoke her sensitive nature and cause her to cry.
She said that her grandfather would ask “’Why does Märtha cry when it’s her brother I’m angry with?’ and the others replied that ‘she always cries.’ I was concerned and wanted to protect him.”
Princess Märtha Louise has published several books, studied physiotherapy, Rosen therapy and holistic medicine, and runs the Princess Märtha Louise’s Fund. She has three daughters with ex-husband Ari Behn.