In January 2002, King Harald decided that Princess Märtha Louise would lose her style of Royal Highness from February 1, the same year. The reason for this decision was to avoid possible conflicts of interest when the princess started her own entertainment company. From January 1, 2002, she also lost the money she was receiving from the government.
“It is a liberation, so I can enter the working force and earn my own money. It is the best thing for all parties,” the Princess said after the news was released.
Unlike her aunts, who took the name of their husbands upon marriage, Märtha Louise did not become Princess Märtha Louise, Mrs. Behn after her marriage.
In the years since the change of style, there has been some ups and downs in the media and population with regards to Märtha Louise and her business affairs. Probably the biggest hullaboo came when she said she had been talking to angels, and started the so-called Angel School, Astarte.
In early December 2009, Respons on behalf of Aftenposten polled 1003 Norwegians to see how they felt about Märtha Louise retaining her Princess title while working. A small majority of just over 50% answered yes to the statement: Märtha Louise should keep the princess title, even after starting a private business. 30% are indifferent and 20% feels that she should have lost the title.
Sociolog and researcher Hedvig Skonhoft Johansen says in the article that accompanied the poll:
“The King, Queen, Crown Prince and Crown Princess do the serious and important engagements from the Palace and Skaugum. Märtha has apparently received acceptance for being the business princess, and people have become accustomed to anything that is spectacular or out there is being done from Lommedalen.”