Crown Princess Victoria is a royally supportive friend. According to Swedish news outlets, the future Queen has canceled her usual holiday plans to be by Princess Märtha Louise's side following the death of her ex-husband Ari Behn. Swedish Women's Magazine reports that Victoria won’t be celebrating the New Year in the Alps or Norwegian mountains like she usually does. Instead, Victoria will reportedly travel to Norway’s capital to support her friend at Ari’s funeral on January 3 at the Oslo Cathedral.
Ari took his own life on Christmas Day. The Norwegian author was previously married to King Harald V and Queen Sonja’s daughter with whom he shared daughters Maud, 16, Leah, 14, and Emma, 11. After his death, Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel released a statement. They said, “It is with great sadness that we received the message of Ari Behn’s death. We will remember Ari as the warm, cordial and spiritual man he was. It was a privilege to get to know Ari. Our thoughts go to his daughters and family.”
Like the Swedish royal couple, Ari’s former father-in-law expressed his “great sadness” in a statement. The King said, “Ari has been an important part of our family for many years and we carry warm, fond memories of him. We are grateful that we got to know him. We grieve that our grandchildren have now lost their beloved father - and have deep compassion for his parents and siblings, who have now lost their beloved son and brother. We ask that Ari's immediate family get some rest in this painful time.” Meanwhile, Princess Märtha Louise’s brother Crown Prince Haakon and his wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit said, “For us, Ari was a good friend, a dear family member and a wonderful uncle, with whom we shared many of life's small and big moments. It is with great sadness that we have received the message of his passing away. We were all very fond of Ari. Our thoughts go especially to Maud, Leah, Emma, Princess Märtha Louise and Ari's immediate family.”
In 2017, the late author accused actor Kevin Spacey of sexual assault. Per The Telegraph, Ari wrote about his struggles with depression and alcohol in his book Inferno, which was published in 2018. “I am yesterday’s news, even though the world has not yet been told,” he said. “I’m a clown, at worst. At best, I am a self-publicist and an actor on the public stage. For many, I’m a fool.”
Ari and Martha split in 2016. The Norwegian Princess has since moved on, dating spiritual guide Shaman Durek. Back in May, the royal mom of three declared, “[Shaman] has made me realize that unconditional love actually exists here on this planet. He embraces all of me without question or fear. He makes me laugh more than anyone, has the most profound wisdom to share and all the bits in between from the diversity of his being. I feel so happy and blessed that he is my boyfriend. Thank you my love, for including me so generously into your family. I love you from this eternity to the next.”