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Norway

King Harald discharged from hospital – what next for Norway’s monarch?


Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

King Harald was discharged from hospital on September 28th, having spent three nights being treated and monitored following a scare over his breathing. However, what happens to the Norwegian king now? After the King left hospital, he was transported back to Bygdøy Royal Estate. This is a larger farm located right on the outskirts of Oslo city centre on the Bygdøy peninsula. The property has been the Norwegian monarch’s permanent summer residence since 1905.

King Harald and Queen Sonja have been open about the fact that they thrive very well there and have used the property much more than both King Olav V and King Haakon VII. King Harald and Queen Sonja usually use this property as a permanent residence from the time after Easter until it gets too cold to stay there, only then do they move back to the palace in central Oslo. Now King Harald will get the care he needs on Bygdøy and time to recover.

It is clear that King Harald was not as seriously ill as many thought on Friday morning. The last time the King was in hospital was in January. Then he was in hospital for a week. This time he was in hospital for only three days. A major difference from the period of illness in January was also that it took many weeks before the King returned to work. The Royal Court has already listed the King’s next tasks.

King Harald is on sick leave until Sunday, October 4th. Already the next day, October 5th, King Harald will receive the commander of the Navy in audience. Then King Harald will receive the Foreign Minister in an audience on October 8th and on Friday, October 9th, the King will again be able to lead the council of state at the Royal Palace. Still, it will probably take some time before the King reappears in public.

Before then, on October 2nd, a very special event takes place in Norway on a day that will go down in Norwegian history. Crown Prince Haakon will officially open the Norwegian Parliament, the Storting, for the very first time. It will also be the first time in exactly 30 years that the opening will be overseen by a Crown Prince and not the nation’s reigning Monarch. We can count on King Harald, as hundreds of thousands of Norwegians, to see the ceremony on TV. There is great excitement about how Crown Prince Haakon handles the task.

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.