Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway has been diagnosed with a chronic lung disease.
A statement from the Royal Court released Wednesday revealed that the 45-year-old royal, who joined Norway’s royal family with her 2001 marriage to Crown Prince Haakon, has chronic pulmonary fibrosis.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the disease occurs when lung tissue becomes scarred and causes reduced oxygen supply in the blood. There is currently no way to reverse or slow down the damage to the lungs.
“For a number of years, I have had health challenges on a regular basis, and now we know more about what these are in,” Crown Princess Mette-Marit said in a statement. “The condition means that the working capacity will vary. The Crown Prince and I choose to inform about this now, partly because in future there will be a need to plan periods without official program. In connection with treatment and when the disease is more active, this will be necessary.”
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The disease is caused by a number of factors, but the Royal Court’s statement said that it’s “not yet clear” if Princess Mette-Marit’s condition “is linked to a more extensive autoimmune disease process or if there are other causes that underlie the lung changes.”
“The Crown Princess will have to undergo further investigation in the future and also treatment trials. In such conditions as the Crown Princess has, it is common for us to cooperate with environments abroad,” said her doctor, Professor Kristian Bjøro at the National Hospital.
Princess Mette-Marit was a single mother of a son, Marius Borg Høiby, 21, when she married Crown Prince Haakon, the first in line to the Norwegian throne after his father, King Harald V. Mette-Marit and Haakon also share two children: Princess Ingrid Alexandra, 14, and Prince Sverre Magnus, 12.
The Royal Court stressed that finding the disease early “is favorable considering the prognosis.”
“Although such a diagnosis in times will limit my life, I’m glad that the disease has been discovered so early,” Mette-Marit said in a statement. “My goal is still to work and participate in the official program as much as possible.”
In January, Princess Mette-Marit revealed she had been suffering from “crystal sickness,” which is a common name for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). The issue caused her to cancel an engagement last year.
“I turned my head quickly, and it was like the whole world began to move,” the Crown Princess told the Norwegian radio station P3 during an recent interview. “I began to sweat and felt nauseous — I thought I’d started early menopause.”