Norway’s Princess Martha Louise took the reins of an equestrian exam on Thursday, The Daily Mail reports, and trotted her way to a passing grade. The eldest child of Queen Sonia and King Harald participated in a harness racing exam in Oslo. In this sport, the horse must pull a light two-wheeled vehicle called a sulky at a particular speed. According to The Daily Mail, the princess wore the uniform that’s typical for this event, a light sleeveless jacket called a gilet and loose fitting pants. Martha Louise also wore a pair of aviator sunglasses.
The princess posted a video of herself practicing the sport on her Instagram page, where she shares lots of personal glimpses into her life.
“Celebrating my 50K followers by learning the skill of trotting. Thank you so much for following me everyone!!” she wrote in the caption of the post. “I was so nervous in the sulky this morning though, but it turned out to be soooo much fun. Test race tomorrow.”
It’s a far cry from the high glamour you normally expect when you think of a European princess. As The Daily Mail notes, even though she is the king and queen’s first child, the princess is fourth in line because Norway’s succession rules prioritize male heirs.
Martha Louise has built a life for herself that’s separate from the royal family. The princess is one of the co-founders of Soulspring, a new-age spiritual school. But while it sounds relatively uncontroversial, she has come under fire for using her royal title to promote the enterprise. The school advocates questionable spiritual practices like talking to angels. In 2014, Norwegian publication The Local reported that some of the country’s religious figures objected to the princess collaborating with American psychic Lisa Williams. Soulspring put out a statement in light of the criticism which clarified that they do not promote speaking to the dead.
“We in Soulspring do not communicate with dead souls in our work. And here is where our work is separate from Lisa’s,” the statement read, as published by The Local. “To be completely honest, we don’t see the point of contacting the dead. They passed over to the other side for a reason and should be allowed to stay there.”
Besides Soulspring, Princess Martha Louise has also worked as an author and television show host. According to The Daily Mail, she also runs a charitable foundation and an entertainment company.
Celebrating my 50K followers by learning the skill of trotting. Thank you so much for following me everyone!! ????????I was so nervous in the sulky this morning though, but it turned out to be soooo much fun. Test race tomorrow. #crossfingers #butterflies #trotting #llv75 #hesterbest #hest360 #hest #horses #horsesofinstagram
Princess Martha is the mother of three children, all daughters, named Leah, Emma, and Maude. But she and her ex-husband Ari Behn are no longer together. She announced their separation in September 2016 after 14 years of marriage.