Princess Märtha Louise's alternative school, now called Astarte Inspiration, organized a seminar on Sunday with controversial Lisa Williams, who claims she has received a gift from God and that she is on earth to help people with healing. She also claims that she can arrange contact between the living and the dead.
With 1.540 norwegian crowns audience could participate in the seminar. Around 250 people attended.
After a conversation between the princess, her colleague Elisabeth Nordeng and Williams, Williams started a seance where she claimed to arrange contact between the audience and dead they would want come in contact with.
Swedish royal expert Johan T Lindwall says that King Harald should have said long time ago that this is not acceptable and never let her attend the seminar. This is not about Märtha Louise as an individual. But given that she has great symbolic value as a public person, her attending this seminar sends signals that King Harald and the entire royal family endorses it.
Danish historian and royal expert Lars Hovbakke Sorensen says that it can happen that Märtha Louise damages the entire Norwegian royal family. The important thing is how Crown Prince Haakon and crown princess Mette-Marit maintains their role, but the princess means much for king's house popularity overall.
The British royal expert Robert Fitzwilliams believes the princess obviously has no inhibitions against acting with her royal title in different contexts. It's one thing to have a completely private belief in something, but quite another to act with faith in public. To me she appears as unwise, he said.
Bishop Jan Otto Myrseth is also among the critics, saying the princess should decide whether she will represent the royal family, or work with actors like Williams.
Ekspert mener kong Harald burde sagt nei til Märtha - Prinsesse Märtha og Ari Behn - VG
Counselor in the Norwegian Humanist Association, Didrik Søderlind, about the event and the ticket price.
- 1500 crowns, Jesus! I could understand if it cost hundreds, as a cinema visit, but 1,500 is rough. People have to make use of the money on whatever they want, but this I think is raw economic exploitation. When they put 1,500 price tag, it is hard not to see it for what it is. It's not about spiritual development, it is about economic exploitation.
Søderlind thinks there is a problem that Märtha Louise has maneuvered herself into a position where she can earn money to be a princess.
- It is an important part of her business concept while she has distanced herself from the royal house and does not have formal responsibility. She is in a very smart financial position. There is also the problem that it afffects Norway's reputation when a person related to the royal family keeps on like this.
NHA has had the campaign "No one likes to be fooled", going out against the "clairvoyant, alternative healers, crystal healers and others who exploit people's doubts, grief and hope with baseless allegations."
Søderlind says he knows several cases where people in the industry deliberately cheat.
- I think there are a lot of scams, but I also think some are convinced that they have the capabilities. I believe Märtha Louise is among them.
Det handler ikke om åndelig utvikling, det handler om økonomisk utnytting - kultur - Dagbladet.no
1540 NOK is about 240 USD and 190 euros.