His Majesty King Harald of Norway is ill. The Royal Court has informed the public that for the duration of the King’s sickness, Crown Prince Haakon will be appointed as temporary regent of Norway. The Royal Court informs the public that His Majesty has a viral infection. The severity of the disease is unknown.
Previous assumptions were that the King was abroad, however, this is not correct. It was assumed on Wednesday that the King was on holiday overseas when the Crown Prince had to accept changes in the Norwegian government without his father present.
The news of His Majesty’s illness became known when Norwegian media reported that the 82-year-old monarch was no longer set to participate in the very last Cabinet meeting scheduled to take place at the Royal Palace in Oslo on Friday. As a result, Crown Prince Haakon will be in alone in the weekly meeting with the government at the Castle.
This is not the first time the Crown Prince has stepped in for the King. When King Harald became ill in April 2018 as a result of congestion and pain in one foot, Crown Prince Haakon stepped in as regent for his father during his illness.
The King has had several health challenges the recent years, and although the Crown Prince has stepped in for his father on several occasions, he has no plans to pass on his role to his son. King Harald has on several occasions stated that it is out of the question for him to abdicate. Many reacted strongly in October this year when, for the first time in his reign, King Harald had to take the elevator and did not dare to walk the stairs when he opened the Norwegian parliament.
Christmas 2018 was also marked by illness in the Norwegian royal family. At that time it was Queen Sonja who was ill and had to cancel her attendance at the traditional Christmas Day service.