Royal Watch Features
Princess no longer guaranteeing a date with the angels
By Thomas Borchert Aug 2, 2007, 13:41 GMT
Oslo - Amid heavy criticism and allegations of fraud and unscrupulous business practices, Norwegian Princess Martha Louise has stopped promising her clients a personal encounter with angels.
Astarte Education, the alternative school launched by the princess, claims on its website that it teaches students how to 'get in touch with their own truths' through 'readings, healing, crystals and hands-on treatment.'
However, the Engleskole (Angel School) as it has popularly become known, has now withdrawn its 'warranty' for the supernatural encounter from its course programme for paying clients, Oslo media reported on Thursday.
The website now says that the daughter of King Harald V, 70, intends to 'try and establish contact with angels' with her clients.
Over the last couple of days, Martha Louise, 35, has been showered with criticism about her business practices.
She has charged 24,000 kronor (4,000 dollars) for weekend courses that claimed in their outline: 'During this course you will make contact with angels and learn how to perform heavenly miracles in your life.'
Her commercial self-promotion as reader of fairy tales and other employments as cultural envoy has so far been shrugged off by Norway's general public, who seem to take her with a pinch of salt.
But when the princess, who is married to writer Ari Behn, 34, began to promise supernatural encounters for cash, many were outraged.
'If the princess bags 24,000 kronor for teaching people to talk to angels, it's simply a sham,' the daily Finansavisen wrote in an editiorial which put Princess Martha Louise on a par with fortune tellers, quack doctors and other fraudsters.
Consumer watchdogs, meanwhile, were confident that court cases over failed 'direct contacts' to angels could be successful, while the Protestant State Church, headed by King Harald, said loud and clear that the princess, who obviously believed in angels and other occult creatures, should leave the Church.
So far, Martha Louise has not taken up the Church on its demand.
Instead the princess has taken two weeks' sick leave, while the court in Oslo has remained mum over her heavenly activities.
Due to her business activities, the princess has not been claiming her apanage as a member of the royal family for several years. But she is still holding on to her royal title.
Her sister-in-law Princess Mette-Marit, 33, however, has testified to Martha Louise's healing touch.
'There are many that have warm and good hands, but she almost has a little sun in hers,' Mette-Marit is quoted as saying in an official 2001 biography of Martha Louise by Erik Fosnes Hansen, the Dagbladet reported.
Martha Louise, her sister-in-law claims in the biography, had helped her overcome her fear of flying as well as urinary tract pains.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur