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Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway cancels royal event for health reasons after mystery sick leave

The Norwegian royal was recently out of the public eye following a mystery illness

Crown Princess Mette-Marit in a football shirt
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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Crown Princess Mette-Marit has cancelled her appearance at a pre-Christmas celebration that was held at the Palace Chapel, inside the Royal Palace of Norway in its capital, Oslo.

The future Queen Consort of Norway contracted an illness on Wednesday, and it has also meant that she missed out on being featured in a Christmas portrait that was released for the festive season. The spectacular image featured her husband, Crown Prince Haakon, alongside King Harald, Queen Sonja and Mette-Marit's two younger children, Princess Ingrid and Prince Sverre.

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Royal watchers noticed the Norwegian royal's absence as one commented: "A lovely photo. Missing the Crown Princess and wishing her a speedy recovery," and a second shared: "Merry Christmas and a speedy recovery to the crown princess. Just have to add that you are the best royal family in the world - we Norwegians are so lucky."

During the service, which was attended by senior members of the royal family, Haakon made a speech, saying: "Norway would be unrecognisable without volunteering, without you helping to make life better for many who need a little support in their everyday lives. And right now during the Christmas season, maybe that's even more important. We want to thank each of you for your efforts. You are an inspiration to us all."

Mette-Marit missed out on a family portrait
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Attendees also sung traditional hymns, including Silent Night, and carried out the lighting of candles, a symbolic ritual.

Back in September, Mette-Marit, 50, went on "sick leave" for two weeks, with the Norwegian Court confirming that all her royal engagements had been cancelled during that time. It was never confirmed why the Crown Princess needed time away from the royal spotlight, though it was presumed that the leave was linked to chronic pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that causes scarring on the lungs that she was diagnosed with in 2018.

Crown Princess Mette Marit was joined by the family's pet dog, Molly© Getty
Mette-Marit has cancelled appearances due to her pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis can mean that breathing becomes increasingly difficult. The condition is rare among those under 50 and is most common in people over 70. Symptoms include tiredness, a persistent dry cough and shortness of breath.

At the time of her diagnosis, the Royal House wrote that her illness could limit the performance of her engagements. Last year, she had to leave an engagement due to complications caused by her illness. The royal has cancelled several engagements on account of her ill health, beginning in March 2018, when the Crown Princess called off all of her official engagements until Easter that year, as she underwent surgery.

Norway's royal family pose for portrait on Prince Sverre Magnus' 18th birthday© Alamy
Hopefully the Princess will recover in time for Christmas

The mum-of-three has also previously opened up about her struggle with vertigo. After experiencing dizziness and nausea, Mette-Marit explained she believed she had begun menopause.

READ: Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit share update on children's future plans

SEE: Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway shares sweet kissing photo with husband Haakon on ski trip

Speaking on Norwegian radio show P3, she shared: "I turned my head quickly, and it was like the whole world began to move. I began to sweat and felt nauseous – I thought I'd started early menopause."

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