Crown Princess Mette-Marit has been diagnosed with a chronic lung disease that’s expected to limit her official duties. She told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK)) Wednesday evening that she’ll learn to live with the uncertainty of having what the Norwegians call lungefibrose.
“I have been dealing with health challenges for a few years,” she told NRK in what amounted to a carefully orchestrated public announcement of her ailment. “The problems have been more pronounced the past year. It’s meant that we have been through a quite long process of finding out what’s wrong, and now we’re beginning to get some answers.”
The 45-year-old crown princess told NRK that it now appears her ailment “is more chronic than we had hoped for, but it also means that things are falling into place, so for me, it’s a great relief.”
Crown Prince Haakon married the former Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby in 2001, when she was a single mother from Kristiansand who formerly had been active in Oslo’s house party milieu. Her doctor, Professor Kristian Bjøro, told NRK, however, that her disease is not tied to any lifestyle-induced ailments. It remains unclear what caused her illness that has shown changes in her lungs that are classified as chronic lungefibrose. He stressed that the changes, however, were limited and that development of the disease has been modest.
It can, however, cause shortness of breath, exhauston and reduced ability to work. That means the crown princess will probably need to limit her public appearances and royal duties.
She’s been under examined and under treatment at Norway’s national hospital Rikshospitalet in Oslo. Dr. Bjørlo was optimistic about the crown princess’ prospects: “This has been diagnosed early and we have good hope that we can control development of the disease.”
Mette-Marit herself said she just has to learn to live with the uncertainty that such a chronic ailment brings: “It’s never comfortable to talk about your health publicly, but it’s clear that we’re now looking at a period in which I’ll need more examinations and possible treatments, so I’ll be more absent. That made it necessary to talk about this so that there won’t be so much specualation.”