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King Harald of Norway to visit the United States

His Majesty King Harald V of Norway will make a visit to the United States next week. The visit will, among other things, mean that the King performs official visits in both Florida and in Virginia. It is uncertain how long King Harald will be in the United States, but the visit will last for at least three or four days.

The visit to Virgina will take place on Wednesday, while the visit to Florida will take place Friday, next week. The King will travel alone, no other members of the royal family will join him.

Queen Sonja, King Harald and Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

The King’s first visit will be at NATO’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. This visit will take place only one day after the King will judge in the sail regatta “His Majesty King Regatta”, which takes place in Oslo, Norway. The king’s other listed official visit will take place in Tampa, in Florida. Here, King Harald will visit the United States Special Operations Command. More details about the visit are not yet published by the Royal Court.

King Harald lived five years of his life as a child in exile in the United States and has previously mentioned the US as his second home. When the future King of Norway started school in 1943, it was while in exile in the US. King Harald went to a relatively common American school on the outskirts of Washington DC with children from wealthy American families.

King Harald of Norway in 1943, in USA. Photo: National Library of Norway via Wikimedia Commons.

The NATO headquarters in Norfolk, also called ‘Allied Command’, was formed in 2003 after the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation restructuring. It was intended to lead the military transformation of alliance forces and capabilities, using new concepts such as the NATO Response Force and new doctrines in order to improve the alliance’s military effectiveness.

The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM or SOCOM) is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Component Commands of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force of the United States Armed Forces. USSOCOM is headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.


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