The 83-year-old king has long suffered health problems that have made him delegate the throne to his son Prince Haakon on occasion
Health problems threaten King Harald of Norway. The 83-year-old monarch has been hospitalized in the Oslo university hospital for an as yet unidentified problem – although some of the country’s media already point to respiratory issues – as the country’s royal house has announced in a brief release. “We have no more information than what we have shared,” explained the press officer of the house, Guri Varpe. Queen Sonia has been seen at the medical center.
The king’s hospital admission has made his heir, Prince Haakon, 47, the one who takes the reins of the country. “His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Regent”, as the royal house now officially calls him, has had to take on some impending tasks from his father, such as an audience with Prime Minister Erna Solberg (who has sent her best wishes to the King ), and the presidency of the usual Council of Ministers.
Harald V showed no signs of health problems until a few hours after being admitted. In fact, on Thursday he attended a ceremony with the Norwegian Royal Navy to end the season in which the Royal Fleet patrols things in the country from north to south. There he thanked the crew “for an enjoyable and eventful season.” The king was seen thin, somewhat stooped, but without further problems.
Harald’s health has been faltering for several years. In December 2003, when he was 66 years old, he underwent surgery for bladder cancer. Already then Haakon held the regency for a few weeks and, in fact, Princess Marta Luisa became regent because her brother had just become a father and was on paternal leave. Less than two years later, in March 2005, Harald underwent surgery for a coronary problem due to a narrowing of the aorta, and in April of that year the operation was repeated.
After a stable time, the last few years have also been tough for Harald. In November 2017, he suffered an infection that forced him to stay in hospital for three days. And last year, in December 2019, a virus forced him to spend a few days off the game as, again, Haakon took his place. Already in January of this year a series of dizziness forced him to go through the hospital again.
Last September, in an interview with the NTB, the country’s news agency, Haakon from Norway spoke about how he assumed his duties in the moments of his father’s absence. “So far, I think we have managed the work quite well together. I look at it as if we were a team. We distribute the work to achieve the best possible result, ”stated the heir. “I think we will continue to do so for years to come.”
Harald has reigned in the country for almost 30 years. He climbed to it on January 17, 1991, when he was 53 years old, after the death of his father, King Olav, who died of a heart attack at the age of 87, when he was already the oldest monarch in Europe. In Norway there is no tradition of abdication.