His Majesty King Harald V of Norway visited NATO’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia last week as well as the United States Defence Base for Special Operations in Tampa, Florida.
The royal visit started on Thursday as The King visited the NATO headquarters after accepting an invitation. Shortly after the welcoming ceremony, The King met the Norwegian contingent assigned to the NATO headquarters. During the visit, The King received a tour of the base and later attended a dinner together with Supreme Allied Commander Transformation of NATO, General Denis Mercier.
On Friday, His Majesty visited the base of the US Special forces, located in Tampa, Florida. King Harald was welcomed by General Raymond A. Thomas III, and Deputy Commander General Charles Brown. Under their guidance, The King received a broad orientation about the strengths and activities at the base. The visit was concluded with a meeting between the King and the Norwegian forces in Tampa.
King Harald met no official members of the Trump Administration on his visit.
The news of The King’s visit the United States came only a few days before the trip began. The royal court has later explained that this was because The King’s itinerary was not finalised until the last minute.
It is still uncertain how long The King will be in the United States, or if indeed he has left the country already. His Majesty will be outside of Norway until 1st September, as the royal court’s calendar confirms that Crown Prince Haakon is acting regent until this date. King Harald’s next official engagement in Norway will on 8th September, when His Majesty will attend the celebration of the city of Fredrikstad’s 250th anniversary.
King Harald lived in the United States for five years as a child in exile and has previously referred to the US as his second home. When the future Monarch started school in 1943, it was in the USA while in exile. King Harald went to a relatively common American school on the outskirts of Washington DC with children from wealthy American families.