On Wednesday, His Majesty King Harald V of Norway turned 81-years-old. The birthday was celebrated privately with the closest family and friends of the monarch. King Harald has generally been very popular in all his years as monarch. Now, the King is more popular than ever according to the historian, biographer and expert on the history of the Norwegian Royal Family, Tor Bomann-Larsen.
King Harald has now been King of Norway for 27 years. King Olav, his father, was the monarch for 33 years. Both King Harald and his father were 54-years-old when they became monarch. “I hope and believe that I am still curious and have the ability to realise new things and change myself in some sort of way. I cannot grow up in what was my childhood and youth,” said King Harald last year.
In connection with the Kings birthday yesterday, Tor Bomann-Larsen said to NTB:
“In general, the older a king is, the more popular he becomes. As such, there is no downside for a king to fill years and eventually grow old. It is also that the longer a king or queen reigns, the more he demonstrates his sense of duty towards people and country. This is something people know and appreciate. The position of King Harald will only be stronger. Even with his holidays and some time for themselves, nobody is in doubt about who is king in this country.”
When NTB spoke with King Harald last year, His Majesty said: “I always thought that those who were 80 were too old to do anything, but I do not feel old. Age is just a number.”
King Harald’s grandfather, King Haakon, set the standard for Norwegian kings when he said that “a king is either dead or alive.” There has never been a tradition of abdication in Norway, and this is a tradition most Norwegians do not welcome. Norwegians believe the best solution is that King Harald remains monarch until his death, and nobody thinks anything else is going to happen.
King Harald who became king of Norway in 1991 could have become king in 1940 at only three-years-old. Read the dramatic story of what happened here.