|Pressure grows on Norway's psychic princess|
| [30.08.2007, 11:36pm, Thu. GMT]|
|Calls were spreading on Monday for Princess Martha Louise to give up her royal title, to eliminate what's considered an inappropriate mix of her privileged position with her new controversial psychic venture. Even relatively conservative newspapers are criticizing the princess for "earning money on her princess title," as Bergens Tidende wrote in an editorial in Monday's editions. The newspaper, Norway's largest outside the Oslo area, also noted that "as a princess and theoretically an heir to the throne," Martha Louise "needs to relate to the rest of us others within a certain framework." The editorial questioned whether the princess' new business, in which she claims she will teach customers how to contact angels, is in line with the "rational" leanings of most Norwegians.In a country where direct criticism of Norway's royal family is rare, the princess seems to have gone too far this time in blending her royal and commercial activities. Newspaper Aftenposten, long a staunch support of Norway's monarchy, also carried an editorial Monday pointing out how problematic the princess’ business ventures have become.|
The princess herself has predictably blamed the media for stirring up the controversy around her. After weeks of refusing to answer questions on her new angel school, she was given a large block of air time on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Saturday evening in which she called angels "messengers from God." No other founder of an angel school would have been granted so much free prime time publicity.
She claimed she sees angels "around everyone," and that they're found in all religions. She didn't seem to see any problem with using her royal title in promotional material for her angel school.
She admitted, though, that she can understand that "very many people have problems" understanding her venture. "I have a role as princess, and I understand that many are provoked when I move out of that role," she said.
But she dismissed media criticism as "bullying," adding that if she'd attempted such a venture centuries ago, "I'd probably have been burned at the stake."
Aftenposten English Web Desk