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Princess Mette-Marit reveals she thought she'd started early menopause – find out why

The Norwegian royal was forced to cancel an engagement due to illness

Chloe Best

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway has opened up about the health struggles that prompted her to cancel one of her planned royal engagements at the end of November. The 44-year-old revealed that she experienced dizziness and nausea that she assumed was the onset of an early menopause, however it has since been confirmed that she was suffering from vertigo.

Norway's royal palace said that Mette-Marit was suffering from Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), which can cause dizziness, nausea and a loss of balance. And the Crown Princess has now revealed what she thinks caused the illness.

MORE: See Princess Mette-Marit's stunning birthday portraits

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Crown Princess Mette-Marit thought she was experiencing early menopause

Speaking on the Norwegian radio station P3, the mother-of-three explained: "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." The royal said the condition started after she increased her fitness routine, explaining: "I'd been incredibly good at training this fall. We used a program that changed from week to week."

Vertigo can affect balance and make sufferers feel like everything around them is spinning. It can last from a few seconds to hours. Meanwhile, severe vertigo can last for days or even months. BPPV, which Crown Princess Mette-Marit experienced, is a condition where specific head movements cause vertigo.

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The Norwegian royal was diagnosed with BPPV, a form of vertigo

It's easy to see why the royal may have initially mistaken the condition for the early signs of menopause; many menopausal women report symptoms of dizziness and vertigo, which can be caused by hormonal fluctuations.

Mette-Marit has since recovered from her illness, and enjoyed spending the festive period with her husband Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, and their children, Princess Ingrid and Prince Sverre. A photo released by Norway's royal palace showed the family posing happily next to a Christmas tree along with King Harald and Queen Sonja.

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