Crown Princess Mette-Marit had to cancel all her appointments this week because of a neck prolapse that’s been an ongoing problem, confirmed the Royal Palace on Tuesday. She’s been put on sick leave for the next two weeks, and it may be extended.
The painful ailment means Mette-Marit will also drop out of the crown couple’s long-planned official visit to Finland on October 22-23. Her husband, Crown Prince Haakon, will now travel to Finland alone.
“The crown princess will try to carry out some arrangements if the sick leave period is extended,” palace spokeswoman Marianne Hagen told state broadcaster NRK.
She was supposed to take part in a literature tour on board a train from Bodø in Northern Norway to Værnes, outside Trondheim, this week. The idea was to fill the train with books and ride from stop to stop along the Nordlandsbanen route to promote literature. That had to be dropped as well.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit did manage to make an appearance at last week’s quick “friendship visit” from the new King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, whose mother recently abdicated, and his wife, Queen Maxima. Norway’s crown couple met them at the airport on Wednesday, escorted them into Oslo and joined in a luncheon hosted at the palace by King Harald and Queen Sonja.
Mette-Marit has already been dropped from the palace’s official program for the next few weeks, though. In Finland, Haakon will now meet Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö alone, in a visit meant to “focus on the close cooperation” between Finland and Norway.
Crown Prince Haakon will also meet Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, visit the ship design company Aker Arctic and attend a dinner held in his honor by Niinistö.
The visit was also scheduled to include stops at the classic textile and clothing firm Marimmeko, Aalto University and at a children’s school.