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Norway

King Harald appears in public for the first time after illness


Photo: NRK/Screenshot/Fair Use

After a long period of tragedy and illness, King Harald appeared in public for the first time since 3 January, when Ari Behn was buried. Since then, the King has been on sick leave and for a week, the King was hospitalised. Now a fresh monarch was out to show his support for Norwegian skiing in which he is strongly involved.

It was a happy crowd who welcomed the King. On arrival, His Majesty was greeted by children who had lined up. They bowed deeply to their king and brought flowers to him. The royal entrance fanfare and national anthem were played after the people had given the King a huge shout of praise and standing ovation. Then, the King was escorted to the royal tribune where he could watch the day’s exercises. Those who won were given the opportunity to greet His Majesty and receive his congratulations.

The Norwegian National Championship in Skiing 2020 was held from 30 January to 2 February. The King, who has visited the NM for skiing countless times, is passionate about skiing. “It is gratifying that King Harald attends the Norwegian championship here in Drammen at Konnerud Ski Stadium,” said CEO Arne Madsen in a press release.

It was announced in December 2019 that the King would attend the Norwegian championship in skiing. However, there was great uncertainty if he would attend because of the recent events in the Royal Family. It was, therefore, s great pleasure that the Royal Court confirmed that the King would attend. Still, the King shortened his visit. It was announced in December that the King would attend on Saturday and Sunday. The Royal Court said last week that King Harald would only attend events on Sunday.

The King’s return to the public eye received much attention among Norwegian newspapers and TV channels. They all agreed that it was great that King Harald was back, but at the same time, they pointed out that he seemed slightly thinner and even slightly worse in his legs than he usually is.

King Harald was hospitalised on Wednesday, January 8 after a period of illness and has faced a hard time following Ari Behn’s suicide on Christmas Day last year. At that time, the statement from the Royal Court said: “His Majesty King Harald was admitted to the National Hospital today because of dizziness. No serious illness has been found. The King is expected to be discharged before the weekend. The King has cancelled his duties for two weeks. During this period, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon is acting regent.”

On Monday 13 January, Crown Prince Haakon met the press where he said: “I thank you for your thoughtfulness. The King is in recovery; we expect him to be home from the hospital during this week. After the conditions he is fine. He was dizzy and unwell, which is why he was admitted to the hospital. It has been difficult in recent weeks. We try as best we can to take care of each other.” His Majesty King Harald of Norway was discharged from hospital after a week of treatment Wednesday, 15 January.



About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.