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King and Queen of Norway say 'Americans have no idea' of importance of monarchy as daughter steps down

Queen Sonja hinted Durek Verrett was clueless about monarchy

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Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca LewisReporterLos Angeles
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King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway have spoken out after their daughter Princess Martha-Louise stepped down from her official royal duties.

MORE: Princess Martha Louise of Norway shocks fans by announcing end to royal duties

Queen Sonja hinted that Martha-Louise's fiance Durek Verrett, a self-confessed shaman, had "no idea" what it meant to be part of the monarchy, but that the family remains "very fond of each other".

WATCH: Princess Martha Louise of Norway's fiancé Shaman Durek Verrett opens up about death threats

The pair addressed Durek's controversial practices, which he continued while dating Princess Martha-Louise, with Queen Sonja saying in a press conference: "Americans have no idea what a kingdom is. So it’s no wonder he doesn’t realize."

She added: "Americans don’t understand the bearing of this here. They don’t. He thought he could do whatever he wanted without compromising us at all. Even if we disagree on things, we are happy with each other. I have the feeling that the family is now very close to each other in a new, nice way."

RELATED: Princess Martha Louise of Norway's boyfriend reveals plans to propose

PHOTOS: 21 royal engagement rings that are total show-stoppers

Queen Sonja also called Durek a "great guy" and "very fun to be with".

When asked why they allowed Martha-Louise to keep her title of Princess, the King added: "She is our daughter and she will continue to be. So she is Princess Märtha-Louise." But he shared that he was "very sorry that the princess will no longer represent the royal house, she was very good at it," and that it was a "shame" she decided to give it up.

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King Harald, Queen Sonja and their daughter remain close

The press conference came hours after Martha-Louise released a statement confirming that she had come to the decision in order to "differentiate more clearly between her own activities and her relationship to the Royal House of Norway".

The move means that Martha-Louise will not be carrying out official duties for the royal family at the present time.

The organizations previously under her patronage will be offered to other members of the Royal Family.

MORE: Princess Martha Louise and fiancé Shaman Durek Verrett look so in love at Hollywood Pride event

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Martha-Louise and Durek Verrett became engaged in 2022

Martha-Louise announced her engagement to Durek in June 2022. Together, the couple have organized seminars titled "The Princess and the Shaman", which have been widely criticized.

In 2019, the 50-year-old – a self-described clairvoyant - decided in consultation with her family not to use her Princess title in connection with her business activities.

Martha-Louise was previously married to author Ari Behn. The couple welcomed three daughters together, Maud Angelica, Leah Isadora and Emma Tallulah, before their divorce in 2017. Tragically, Ari died by suicide on Christmas Day in 2019.

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