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King Harald: “I will not abdicate”

His Majesty King Harald of Norway celebrates his 80th birthday next week. For the occasion, His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen granted an interview to NTB (Norwegian News Agency) where they talked about what it is like being monarchs when they get older.

The King says he has no plans to abdicate, he feels healthy and says that age is only a number. “To step back is out of the question unless I receive a clear message from my children that it is time.” King Harald therefore strongly opposes the other European monarchies, which in the recent years has seen abdication. 2013 was a great abdication-year in Europe when both the Netherlands and Belgium got new Kings after abdication. Spain got a new king after the abdication of King Juan Carlos in 2014. King Harald, therefore, rejects strongly that he will abdicate. In the interview, he says, “I took an oath on the Norwegian constitution. For me, this oath applies to my entire life.”

King Harald thanks his son and daughter-in-law for the help he and the Queen receive. Photo: Jørgen Gomnæs / Det kongelige hoff.

On 17 January 1991 King Olav of Norway died, and Norway got a new King. “It was no easy task. I was terrified. To be quite honest I was sure I was not going handle the task. He was incredibly popular”, says the King.

The King praises his son and daughter-in-law, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, for the help he and the Queen receive. “We are four people in a team”, says the King. The King reveals that Crown Prince Haakon has offered to take over some of the King’s duties and official tasks several times, but the King says he rarely has accepted the help. Queen Sonja adds that she does not feel old. On the contrary, she feels like she is fifty years old she says in the interview. “If you are you active and has your health intact, then you rarely think about how old you are”, says the Queen. “Although the outside has changed, one is the same on the inside”, she added.

King Harald and Queen Sonja anniversary monogram for their birthdays in 2017. Photo: The Royal Court / Det Kongelige Hoff.

King Harald will have no public celebration next week. He and his family will celebrate the day together on holiday abroad. Her Majesty the Queen is also celebrating her 80th birthday this year, and the King and Queen will therefore have a joint celebration this summer.

Royal Central will have a broad coverage of this celebration.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.