How Shaman Durek and Princess Märtha became the It-couple of wellness

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 (AFP/Getty Images)
(AFP/Getty Images)

Durek Verrett is not your typical royal groom.

A sixth generation shaman and spiritual guide to Hollywood’s most goopy (he charges $2,000 an hour for private sessions), the 47-year-old certainly does not fit the regal mold. But the guru, who’s of Haitian and Norweigian descent, is set to marry Princess Märtha Louise of Norway. “She said YES! When you know, you know,” he posted to Instagram after popping the question to the fourth in line to the throne (she falls behind her brother Prince Haakon and his children in the hierarchy). “There is nothing better than having clarity as a man that the woman that stands in front of you is the one.”

Perhaps it’s hardly surprising the European royal agreed — their marriage was apparently written in the stars, with Verrett’s psychic mother telling him when he was 14 that he would one day marry a princess of Norway.

Princess Märtha is fond of woo-woo. In 2007 she founded Soulspring, an organisation she set up to “put people in touch with their angels.” It closed in 2018. The couple started dating after a mutual friend decided the princess, who had been single for three years following her divorce from Norwegian writer Ari Behn, should meet the LA-based wellness guide. She and the shaman, he said, could be a perfect match.

Their first date saw them share a delicious meal of macrobiotic vegan food. Verrett claims, though, that they had met several times in past lives, including in ancient Egypt where he was a pharaoh and she was his queen.

It’s unknown where or how Verrett exactly proposed, but it’s no secret that he’s been trying since December 2020. The pair, who co-hosted a European tour of healing workshops called The Princess and the Shaman before the pandemic, had planned to do it during a family holiday (Märtha has three daughters from her previous marriage) in Hawaii. But the tragic death of Behn and Covid-19 stunted those plans.

If Verrett’s catalogue of celebrity clients is anything to go by, the wedding guest list is set to be spectacular. It’s well known that he’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s “light in shining armour”, but his “litty committee” (he sells T-shirt merch with the words “Stay Lit!”) includes actors Nina Dobrev, Chris Pine, Selma Blair and Rosario Dawson, as well as Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey. He refers to Verrett as the “Michael Jordan of shamans”.

Shaman Durek and Princess Martha of Norway (NTB scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)
Shaman Durek and Princess Martha of Norway (NTB scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite some negative reaction to the couple, those closest to them approve of the match. “His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen send their most heartfelt congratulations and wish them all the best in the future,” said the Royal House of Norway. The Norweigan royals are known for their relative openness compared to other dynasties. King Harald’s wife Sonja worked as a dressmaker, while Prince Haakon’s wife was a waitress. They can now add a shaman to the mix.

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