Shaman Durek Verrett: ‘They don’t want to see a Black man in the royal family’

Norway’s Princess Martha announced her engagement to Shaman Durek Verrett a few weeks ago. He’s American, and he comes from a long line of shamans. Durek tends to shaman for the rich and famous these days, and they live together in LA. Martha maintains some kind of residence in Norway, although she is not a “working royal” technically. I think she’s invited to royal family events and family events, but she’s not really living on the taxpayer’s dime at this point. I would also assume that when Martha and Durek are married, they’ll mostly be LA-based, with some visits to Norway here and there. And it looks like Durek has already gotten a taste of what those visits will be like. He knows that Europeans are not ready to accept Black people marrying into their royal families.

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and her fiancé Shaman Durek have said ‘people don’t want to see a black man join a royal family in Europe’ – after revealing they’ve received ‘death threats and hate’. The couple, who announced their engagement on Tuesday, addressed the backlash they’ve received throughout their relationship and admitted it had been an ‘eye-opener’ and a ‘learning curve’ for Martha-Louise, 50.

In a reference to Netflix’s popular period drama romance Bridgerton, which features several interracial couples, Durek said people liked to watch these royal relationships on TV, but did want to see the ‘real Bridgertons’. Durek said he thinks there are two reasons behind the death threats the couple claim to have received.

‘One, they don’t want to see a black man in the royal family because there’s never been one in the history of histories in the European royal family so that’s a huge thing,’ he said. He went on to say that while a prince would be able to marry a woman of colour, the fact that Märtha Louise was female meant there was more scrutiny around her choice of partner.

‘Second, Märtha is a female. It’s different when a man chooses a woman of colour because he’s a man… but for a princess to choose a man of colour, it has never been done in history so it’s really tough for people to handle that,’ he said. Speaking of Bridgerton, he added: ‘They don’t want the Bridgertons, they want to watch it on TV but they don’t want the real Bridgertons, which is us. So they get very upset and angry and say really mean things, but they don’t understand that our world can’t stay the same, we have to evolve,’ he added.

Märtha Louise admitted that the experience had been an ‘eye-opener’ for her. ‘I had a big learning curve coming from white privilege. I was so naïve I didn’t see the nuances, and I think a lot of white people are. The small nuances are the worst, when people pull away from you [Durek], or they don’t want to sit next to you on the bus or cross the street to not walk towards you and of course all the remarks that are all the time…I’ve seen people talking to me really nicely then turning around to Durek and being really horrible, like not touching his hand or not saying hello or saying horrible things to him from being totally nice with me,’ she said.

The royal said it made her realise: ‘wow this is so much worse than I thought it was,’ and added she is ‘shocked that it’s still going on in the world. We think there’s no racism because we don’t have it in our lives, we’re white,’ she said. ‘We need to understand that even though we don’t see racism, it does exist.’

[From The Daily Mail]

Prince Harry and Princess Martha had a similar eye-opening journey, didn’t they? Falling in love, then seeing how their Black partners were received by the world and suddenly understanding their own white privilege. Do you think Durek has a point about the reaction specifically because he’s a Black man? I do – there are so many racist tropes specifically about Black men and white women, and I could see how there would be so much discomfort with this white princess running off to America to fall in love with a Black man. Then again, Meghan faced something different-yet-similar because of all of the racist tropes about “angry Black women.”

Photos courtesy of Instagram.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

51 Responses to “Shaman Durek Verrett: ‘They don’t want to see a Black man in the royal family’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Michael says:

    I think some people are raging against the death of a certain way of life where they never have to question their cultural place or “superiority.” But the world is changing and people can get upset all they want but it will continue to change. I think this will be happening more in the future despite the backlash. Look at the Japanese Princess that married a commoner and gave up her royalty for love. Harry is another one. Once unthinkable it seems to be happening with some frequency now

    • Charm says:

      @Michael says:
      “……But the world is changing and people can get upset all they want but it will continue to change.”

      Meghan said something like this in the Oprah intvw. In expressing her disappointment/sorrow at how the BRF threw away their opportunity to show that theyre not troglodytes (my words), she said, in effect, that in the not too distant future, the vast majority of the world’s population will be mixed-race.

      • Desdemona says:

        @Charm , I thought we already were mixed race… I mean, there’s not a single person around the planet who’s purely white, or black, or asian… In particular, “us, white people”.. You can have blond hair, blue eyes, and still be mixed… My family is very “funny”. My mum is blond, blue-eyed, very pale, everybody think she’s from northern Europe. Two of her sisters have black hair, olive skin, dark brown eyes. If you put a hijab on them, you’ll say the’re from the Middle East… So, my grandad on my dad’s side has so many Jewish traits…
        There’s a village in my country where all inhabitants (a study was done), even the one’s who have blond hair and pale complexion are descendent of black people…
        I’m going to say something that may seem offensive, but the first time I saw Meghan I honestly thought she was white (like my aunts) had no idea and didn’t perceive her as biracial. Honestly…

      • Haapa says:

        @Desdemona give me a break. I’m surprised you didn’t pull out the old “we’re all from Africa originally” ffs

      • aftershocks says:

        It’s hard for people to wrap their heads around the actual biological fact that there are no different ‘races.’ There’s only one race: the human race. Neanderthals who died out in ancient Europe were a subspecies of humans. Ancient Africans migrated to Europe and to all parts of the world, and over time their descendants’ physical characteristics changed based on the climate and geographical/ environmental conditions they existed under in those different regions. Pale skin occurred in Europe as the result of a necessary mutation that decreased the amount of melanin in the skin, so people could absorb sufficient Vitamin D from the sun in the cold, northern European climate.

        The mutation didn’t happen overnight. And once it did, there was still a lot of intermixing that occurred between Africans and Europeans. Brown-skinned people were thus commonplace in many parts of Europe, especially prior to the formation of the Sahara Desert, which eventually limited the amount of cross-continental interactions between Africans and Europeans. The Moors built and ruled in Spain until the Inquisition, which was used to overthrow Islamic rule (again, it was about a religious battle, not about skin color obsessions).

        Africans have had an important, and ongoing presence and influence in Europe since the beginning of time. The Moors ruled half of Europe for centuries. Opposing groups of people in the ancient world did not engage in battles on the basis of racism and skin color differences. It was mostly about religious differences and acquiring land and power.

        The fact is: we have all been generally brainwashed and indoctrinated by 400 years of purposeful falsehoods and manmade constructs instituted to divide people and to defend and uphold the indefensible institution of slavery in the new world. BTW, slavery in one form or another has existed for centuries. Plus, the word ‘slave,’ is not synonymous with Africans nor with dark-skinned people. ‘Slave’ is derived from ‘slavs,’ i.e., slavic people, who were enslaved by Mongols and Turks for centuries. The Slavs (Russians, Poles, Czechs, Ukrainians, Slovaks, etc.) ultimately fought for and won their freedom.

        Unless you consciously read widely with an open mind, and engage in open-minded academic study, it’s easy to remain trapped into ‘racial’ tropes and the false terminology we are all accustomed to using. Again, this is as a result of indoctrination, and years of status quo discrimination, which keeps the populace distracted and divided.

  2. Duch says:

    “We think there’s no racism because we don’t have it in our lives, we’re white,”

    I think this was the case for so many white people before George Floyd’s murder. Not that there was NO racism but that it existed only in certain areas of the nation. Then to hear the stories of all the casual racism that exists in our Black friends’ daily lives..

    When this relationship first came into the news a couple years ago, it was treated as something bizarre and as if she was under his influence. Nice they’re getting their story out and bringing further awareness.

    • Mingling Lexi says:

      (Sorry long post) I don’t know much about this couple, whether any of them are shady/not. But I did side eye him when they announced they were a couple because he is a Shaman (and I’m Black). I think Shamanism in modern times has become diluted and charlatans have made the word have bad connotations.

      But what they said about the racism they’ve encountered really resonates. Meghan had such horrible experiences in the RF and she was a Black woman. Black men do encounter different experiences of racism even more so in insular countries where he as a Black man dared to touch a lily White Princess.

      It’s definitely an eye opener for the White partner to get an inkling of what life is like for their POC partner or how the world treats their children. It makes them have to come to term with their own privilege/their own prejudices. And that some of their family members can be racist, and that racism is often not overt but can be through micro aggressions.

      But the world is changing, the way of life which places Whiteness above all others will hopefully change, and it’s up to those who created unfair power structures to make the work to change, and not just on POC’s shoulders.

  3. Ariel says:

    Love that she has seen it and is talking about it.
    White supremacy has to be fought by white people. And white people have to CHOOSE to see racism- unlike black people (and other minorities) who have to live it daily and have no choice.
    Glad she stated what she has seen in plain terms.
    Maybe someone will read that and think differently about their stance that racism isn’t really a thing.

  4. Aerohead21 says:

    Not just black but a Shaman. God forbid he not be Christian. (Insert eye roll)

    • Colby says:

      I was also going to add that I think his work also adds fuel to the racist fire. Shaman and other spiritual advisors= scammers to a lot of people

      • Nikki (Toronto) says:

        This is funny, because the entire concept of royalty in a modern democratic society, is an actual scam. His career choice shouldn’t be a hindrance.

      • Solidgold says:

        Royalty IS a scam!! So is religion.

        They don’t like this man because of his colour.

    • Swaz says:

      But Martha is into that too, that’s how they met. She claims to speak to angels and gods, BUT
      nobody talks about that. Thing s are always okay when its white. Kardashian/Blac chyna??? , I think they do the same thing.

      • minx says:

        I’ll talk about it: Anyone who says they speak to angels and gods is full of it. But I’m a very skeptical science-oriented person. I think human beings can advise, empathize with and comfort other human beings, of course. But once someone claims they have the inside track on god or spirits or the afterlife or whatever, they lose me, and that goes for shamans, priests, nuns, ministers, rabbis, evangelicals, you name it. They are only human like the rest of us, they have no special magical powers.

      • aftershocks says:

        Look, yes, there are shysters and scammers who utilize and capitalize on such ‘woo-woo’ methods and esoteric knowledge and practices to influence and to control others. That doesn’t negate the fact that there are legitimate Shamans, empaths, and spiritualists, etc., who do exist and who conduct themselves with honesty and pure intent in their goal to truly benefit others.

        BTW, true Shamanic practitioners and empaths who possess genuinely good and generous intentions, would never characterize themselves as ‘having an inside track.’

      • minx says:

        Honestly, I don’t understand what “legitimate Shamans, empaths, and spiritualists” are, or what they do. I’m just not their audience.

      • Caro says:

        Um, I’m sorry, but Märtha has indeed gotten quite some flack about her angel-business. In fact, this is part of why she had to stop using her princess title in commercial endeavors. It’s just that much of this happend so long ago that I’m sure a lot of people outside Scandinavia have forgotten about it. And yes, I’m Norwegian, so I totally understand that others don’t remember those things so well.

  5. Bettyrose says:

    And in both cases the Black partner is American not European. Just coincidence I’m sure but to Americans royalty is just a quaint anachronism, making it easy to not feel intimidated by it.

  6. ML says:

    I live in the NL, not Norway, but this guy has a sort of shady reputation here. He has claimed that you get cancer because you deserve it. Supposedly the people who seek help from him need to sign a contract that he can touch their genitalia. In Norway they don’t like his in-your-face luxury lifestyle. This stuff is constantly in the drabs of news here liked to Märtha Louise, and very different from what people think of Meghan.

    • Nem says:

      He was really Lucky his cancer pseudo medecine shenighans didn’t close him Doors to the royal family and to Norway .
      But Martha is shady as well, as she was into communication with angels at one point.
      They are made for each other.
      Her family must be very worried as she is the only provider for her 3 daughters, and had some money difficulties. But they seem to be supportive of her, as they don’t comment on the situation publicly.
      i hope it doesn’t finish in a financial scandal and tears.
      Good luck to them for the racism, people are insane, and White supremacists ready to act rampant.

    • notasugarhere says:

      This, ML. He claims women get physical and spiritual ‘imprints’ in their vagina if they have sex with ‘too many men’. And he claims he can purify them and make them clean again. He’s a pig.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I’m sure the racism he’s experiencing, and they together as a couple are experiencing, is real & is hurtful, but–. He’s a ‘shaman’!! I don’t know, but it’s one thing for indigenous people living a traditional life to consult shamans, and quite another for when it’s this type of shaman, ‘treating’ rich gullible people such as the princess here. It seems like cultural appropriation to me. And I’m not certain, but he seems a lot younger than her. He’s got his perfect mark, er, match. Given the examples cited above of his claims, and hers, they’re made for each other. I wonder which of them will flame out first? And how much money gets squandered before it happens?

      • KFG says:

        Black people are also indigenous. Just an FYI. This reeks of again a white centered belief that only certain types of people can be shaman. It’s insulting. For one, in the US the enslaved Africans often used spiritual and herbal medicine to treat and heal. Black women had much lower rates of maternal mortality when Black midwives, who were healers, provided care. But I digress, you don’t get to determine the impact of racism and anti-blackness. His shamanism isn’t an excuse or justification for racist abuse. Just because someone is a not so great person doesn’t mean they are deserving of racist abuse.

      • BeanieBean says:

        KFG: I agree with you & I do not discount the racism he as an individual or he & she as a couple are experiencing. You misunderstood my use of the term ‘indigenous’; I wasn’t restricting its use to the Americas. Nor am I discounting Traditional Ecological Knowledge. This fellow, however, is not practicing any traditional indigenous healing, nor are his clients people living a traditional life. He and his clients are rich, westernized people & he is a modern version of a snake-oil salesman.

    • minx says:

      He sounds like a grifter who hit the jackpot.

    • R says:

      Thank you for saying this. A woman I follow, Lacey Phillips, interviewed him years ago and has always revered him and I saw right through his bullshit. I was worried for anyone that actually thinks he’s for real. He’s appeared in other podcasts I listen to too. He always struck me as a sassy charlatan. Full of shit and with a huge ego. And there’s a video I saw on youtube somewhere of someone asking him something or calling him out and losing his temper, which is not mature, enlightened, or shamanic type behavior. I’m on to this creep.

    • Murphy says:

      Yeah the negative and sketchy comments I’ve heard about him have nothing to do with his race.

  7. M says:

    Anyone that Goopy shills for is automatically suspect to me. Good luck to them.

  8. Veda says:

    He is a handsome man. I would think being a shaman also adds to the prejudice. The misconceptions and prejudice against non-abrahamic religions is very real.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Ah! He was on season one of Bling Empire! I do tend to think *anything* religious or spiritual is a scam BUT he gave some good advice on that show.

    Hope they have a happy life together and he stays safe.

  10. Nancy says:

    “ good advice”?? @ Elizabeth isn’t this the guy who famously said in his book that people with cancer have cancer because it is self inflicted because they don’t want to live any longer and not to get chemotherapy because if they just decide they don’t want to have cancer and they want to live it will go away?

    • Elizabeth says:

      I didn’t realize he had said all those things which are obviously absurd.

      On the show he just told Kelly to dump a toxic boyfriend and reconnect with herself.

  11. ChillinginDC says:

    I think there are two things going on here, many in the press put it out like he’s a scammer and fooled her cause he’s a shaman.

    And two, yes absolutely the racism.

  12. Fredegunda says:

    I would suggest reading Abid Raja’s interview with VG newspaper. He’s a prominent Pakistani-Norwegian politician and lays out why he thinks race isn’t the issue here. The Black Norwegian comedian Jonna Støme has also spoken out about him in an interview with TV2.

    People are rightly skeptical of someone who says he can “cleanse” a woman who’s had too many sexual partners, cure cancer, and who claims that he’s half-lizard and half Andromedan. He also believes that people bring cancer upon themselves, and when asked point-blank if this was also true of children, he replied in the affirmative. A lot of Norwegians can’t forgive that.

    This is not to say that racism doesn’t exist here; it does and nobody is trying to deny it. I’ve seen it, heard it, been subject to it myself. And I am pretty sure that it would be 100x worse if he were a Norwegian Muslim of Pakistani descent from the east of Oslo, because then there would be much more immediately accessible stereotypes about “that sort of people.”

    If he would stop making whacko pronouncements about cancer and mental illness (which he says don’t exist in shamanism) and cut the bombastic self-aggrandizing, he would probably find a better reception here.

    The Norwegian royal family, by the way, has never given any public indication that they will not welcome Durek Verrett into the fold.

    • Charm says:


      This take is delusional.

      In your very first sentence you promoted the views of this person, Abid Raja, who “lays out why he thinks race isn’t the issue” in his book. The fact that Raja is Pakistani-Norwegian, as you say, is incidental and, in fact, it is very, very, very common for some recipients of racism who wish to be accepted by whites, try to deny racism when it rears its head.

      Even if the shaman was every objectionable thing you and others say he is, but white/not black, we wouldnt be having this conversation.

      Always remember: first comes the racism. Then the justification.

      Recall that M was vilified by uk racists from the very beginning of her relationship with H, but they referenced her being American, her profession(actress) and her marital status(divorced woman) as reasons for vilifying/rejecting/abusing her.

      Then after there was effective pushback pointing out that those were not valid grounds and that racism was indeed the reason, we started hearing that its “her behavior.” and THEN, after the Oprah interview, they latched on to a plethora of reasons, based on the interview, to justify their initial, knee-jerk-and-poorly-veiled racist hate.

      And, of course, to date, not a single racist will admit that they reject, object to, vilify and abuse Harry’s wife on the grounds of racism, in addition, of course, to her superlative characteristics which force them have to face their mediocrity.

      But I digress…………

      The black man chosen by the white norwegian princess to be her husband, is being rejected/vilified/verbally abused primarily because of racism.

      But then fortunately, for-racists-who-wish-to-hide-in-plain-sight, in addition to being black, he also is and says and does all these other terrible things.

      • Fredegunda says:

        We’d definitely be having this conversation if Durek were white. Among other things, Ari Behn was called “the son in law from hell,” a linguistics professor whined that the names he and Märtha gave their kids were “bizarre,” and a newspaper accused his family of being Nazi collaborators during WWII.

      • Couch potato says:

        No, Charm, this isn’t delusional. Yes, there’s sadly still racism in Norway, BUT Fredegundas comment is spot on. It’s his talk about cleansing viginas and whishing cancer upon oneself the majority of norwegians have a problem with.

        Unlike the royals/aristos in UK, being american isn’t negative in Norway. Being a black american isn’t negative for most norwegians. Racism is sadly flourishing in every corner of the world, and there’s no doubt they have encountered it, but that’s not the reason for most of the reactions from norwegians. There were actually more reaction when she got engaged to the blenda white Ari Behn. Over the years everyone have realised she’s a special woman, with special interests, and she’s not part of the official RF, so most people don’t care.

        As for the RF, the king and queen married for love, and they had to fight and wait for years before they were allowed to marry. They made it clear, their children should never have to go through what they did. They would support their childrens choice of partner whoever and whatever they are. Right now Durek is at a galla dinner at the royal castle, in honor of princess Ingrid Alexandras 18th birthday

  13. rawiya says:

    I’m rooting for these two. Everyone was up in arms because he’s a shaman and woowoo (and therefore automatically labelling him a scammer.) They don’t know or choose not to remember that ML is just like this! She talks to angels! These two are perfect for each other! I hope they’re happy and I hope her girls get some sort of normality after what happened to their dad. But yeah, I’m here for these two crazy kids!

    • Swaz says:

      Thank you, they choose not to remember that she’s a shaman too, that’s how they met

      • Seraphina says:

        I admit I don’t know much, if anything about her. But from what I am reading – they certainly deserve one another. Here’s wishing them both a happy union with cleansed body parts.

  14. lana86 says:

    He claims he can cure cancer. I would not shake his hand either.
    He also seems like a sleazy, tasteless scammer. I bet this marriage ends in disaster.

  15. Joanna says:

    I’m sure he has experienced racism but I also feel he is a con artist

  16. [insert_catchy_name] says:

    Something no one seems to be bringing up is that none of this is really a surprise because Norwegians are generally racist. They’re polite about it, but they are very protectionist about their culture, and every single person I know who has moved there (educated white Europeans included) have not been able to integrate there.

    • Mini says:

      I beg to differ. What nerve you have to claim that a whole country/nation is racist. While there may be examples of persons who are finding it hard to integrate, there are (of course) also examples of the opposite, people who integrate easily. My experience is that integration takes a lot of effort, which I gladly accept, but it works out fine – having worked as a volunteer with asylum seekers and refugees, and being a parent in a mixed race community. In Norway! Yeah, we are actually pretty normal.

      • Fredegunda says:

        Yep, was just going to say that my experience as a POC immigrant in Norway has been very positive. I do come from a “cold” culture to start with, though, and spoke related languages that made it easier to learn Norwegian; and everyone that I know from another “cold” culture like Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark, has had no/very few issues. However, I know that people from “warm” cultures like Spain, Greece, and Italy often find it difficult here due to the culture of socialising being very different and of course the language.

  17. MerryGirl says:

    Black & shaman aside, he screams GAY to me.

  18. Mini says:

    Well, as a Norwegian, I think it is problematic that Durek has expressed that he thinks cancer is self imposed, and that women who have several sex partners have some kind of «imprint». I would prefer a republic rather than have Märtha in line. I wish the happy couple all the best, but I would not like to have the princess and her husband the shaman as my regents.

  19. Eowyn says:

    1. All Black people experience racism.
    2. Black Africans, Black Europeans and Black Americans are not treated the same, despite all experiencing racism
    3. Claiming to be a shaman isn’t the same as if this man were claiming ancestral cultural spiritual practices
    4. At least these grifters met each other and hopefully fewer dupes get harmed?
    5. I don’t like his shirt in the top pic, tacky.