Märtha Louise and Ari Behn to divorce – translation of official press release

Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn have decided to leave each other. (press release in Norwegian here)

Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn got married in Nidarosdomen in Trondheim on May 24th, 2002. They have Maud Angelica Behn, born 29. April 2003, Leah Isadora Behn, born 8. April 2005, and Emma Tallulah Behn, born 29. September 2008, together. The parents will have joint custody, and the children will still attend the same schools.

The princess will remain living in Lommedalen. The Princess will also keep the family property “Bloksbjerg” at Hankø. Both of the properties were, and are, under her separate ownership. Ari Behn will find a place to live close by the children.

The princess says: “Life doesn’t always go the way you plan. Both Ari and I have experienced this. But it is even more visible now, when life have done some turnabouts we couldn’t have imagined. We are separating. We are ending our marriage, but staying joint together in parenting our daughters.

It is incredibly sad for both of us to discover that the road ahead isn’t moving the way it used to. We have, as many others, grown apart – to places where we don’t meet as we used to. It is horrible to discover that there isn’t more to do about it. That we have tried everything, over a long period of time, and we still cannot meet where we used to, makes it impossible for us to go on.

We feel guilty because we cannot keep making the safe harbour our children deserve. But we hope and believe that we can retain our friendship through whatever lies ahead.

We ask and hope that we can have calm in this vulnerable process. Our children need time to digest, mourn and find new footing – each and every one of them. We are only humans, we too.”

The king and queen says:

“Many people are wounded when a marriage fail. It is hurtful and sad, also for those of us who are surrounding them. We love Ari, and are thankful for everything we as a family have experienced together. We would like to have a good relationship with Ari also in the future. ”

Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn do not wish to give further comments. They ask that the children still can be spared all press attention.

In January 2002 the Princess established her own commercial business, and she takes hand of it herself. The princess did, at the same time, renounce her HRH-title. Today she owns and runs the company Soulspring with Elisabeth Nordeng.

Märtha Louise and history

Look, I’m fine with Princess Märtha Louise doing her own little thing. Talking to angels, horses or audiences that pay her to perform. She’s no longer receiving money from the state for being a royal, so she is earning her own way. However strange others may find it.

Most recently in Denmark, where she allegedly told DR’s Aftenshowet about the reception in Norway for her announcement that she talks to angels: “I’m happy that I didn’t live 100 years ago – I would have been burnt.”

While Norway in 1911 was not the bastion of prosperity that it is today (Norway is the best place in the world to be a mother, according to a ranking) the last known burning of a witch in Norway happened in 1695.

In 1911, she would probably have been considered either a) devoutly religious for talking to angels, or b) crazy and sent to the asylum.

Märtha Louise and the princess title

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.”

Märtha Louise’s patronages

Princess Märtha Louise decided to give up her HRH style, and her funding from the state, and focus on her career in entertainment in 2002. A few years after that, during a reorganization of the different patronages of the Norwegian royal family, the court also found that with a career of her own in entertainment, there would be a conflict of interest for her to continue her patronages with cultural organizations.

Instead they devised a health angle to her patronages, focusing on the organizations for the blind, the deaf, people with rheumatism, people with epilepsy, people with muscle diseases as well as the Norwegian branch of the Special Olympics.

Today Märtha Louise’s patronages are:

Norges Døveforbund

Foreningen for Muskelsyke

Norsk Epilepsiforbund

Norsk Revmatikerforbund

Norges Blindeforbund

Special Olympics Norge

Märtha Louise will be taking the time out of her publicity rounds for her newest book on Angels (which just was printed in 10,000 additional copies, bringing the total so far to 31,000) to meet with all the organizations she is the patron for at the Palace today.

A review: Vivian Seving, etc.

Vivian Seving, etc.Recently, I was asked to hold a talk on books for some of my colleagues, and the afternoon before the book-talk, I picked up Ari Behn’s latest. The likelihood that someone else had read it was slim, since it’s just come out, and it was thin (unlike the latest tome on the Queen Mother, which I still haven’t got around to opening), so it was definitely a quick read.

Vivian Seving, etc. is about Vivian Seving, a former movie “star” who was married to a German (or possibly Austrian) hereditary prince. The book starts after he is dead, and Princess Vivian then has to face the press (including rabid bloggers) on her own.

Continue reading “A review: Vivian Seving, etc.”

Interview with Ari in Massiv

Ari Behn is out with a new book this autumn, Vivian Seving etc. about a girl who marries into the royal family. On that note, he’s given an interview to Massiv. Here are some out-takes from the interview, translated, that particularly refers to the royals. Interviewer is Magnus S. Rønningen.

Continue reading “Interview with Ari in Massiv”

Fairytales in Rogaland

Märtha Louise was fortunate with the weather today. The Princess had a marathon of story-telling gigs in Rogaland, and the sun was shining, unlike when her brother and sister-in-law was in the area earlier this month.

Among other things, she told local fairy tales and stories for an audience in Ryfylke – outside Preikestolhytta.

Pictures from Stavanger Aftenblad

Afterwards the trip went on to some of the other municipalities in the county.

Maud Angelica starting school

Princess Martha In Central Park

This week the firstborn grandchild of the King and Queen of Norway, Maud Angelica Behn started first grade. Maud Angelica, who turned six in April, is the first female that was born with rights to the Norwegian throne.

For those of our readers who aren’t Norwegian, and who may have different ages for starting school – in Norway all children start school when they turn, or the year they turn six.

Continue reading “Maud Angelica starting school”

Märtha Louise with a new series of books.

Princess Märtha Louise will be writing a series of books called “The Angel School,” publisher Cappelen Damm reports.

The books will be presenting the topics that are taught in Astarte, her school, for self-development. She will be writing them with Elisabeth Samnøy, who is also the other partner in Astarte.

It is unknown how many books the series will contain, but the publisher notes that a series is usually more than three books. The first one has the working title “Meet your guardian angel” and will be published in October.

Märtha Louise and the fountain of light.

In the book she co-wrote with her husband, Ari Behn, after their wedding in 2002, Princess Märtha Louise compared herself to a fountain of light. 


“I imagined that I walked in light, that I waded in it until it reached far up on my leg, that everything around me beamed with such a light. At the end, I was filled up; I had become a fountain of light.” 


Yesterday, she opened another fountain of light, at St. Olav’s Plass in Oslo. It is a 17 meter tall sculpture made of steel triangles, which reflects the light coming from spotlights below. According to the Norwegian press, the fact that the Princess agreed to open the fountain of light, showed that she possesses the ability to poke fun at herself. 


It was her first big official duty since the birth of Emma Tallulah in September. 

Articles in Norwegian, with pictures.