SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!


King Harald on sick leave until the end of January

Photo: Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

His Majesty King Harald of Norway will be on sick leave for the rest of the week until Sunday 31 January. His planned absence was announced by the Norwegian Royal Court on Thursday afternoon. His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Haakon is therefore Regent of Norway until Sunday and will therefore lead the Council of State tomorrow, Friday 29 January.

The press release from the Royal Court states: “His Majesty the King is on sick leave until Sunday 31 January due to pain in his leg. His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Regent will lead the council of state on 29 January.”

The sick leave is due to pain in the leg. It is not stated if the king has been injured or if there are other causes for the pain. In 2018, he was reported sick as a result of pain in one foot. Guri Varpe, head of communications at the Palace, told the press that there is no further comment on the king’s sick leave. It is known that the King sustained an injury to one foot during his time in the military and that this is the reason why he is sometimes seen limping on one foot. In the autumn of 2020, King Harald began to walk with a cane.

King Harald has had several health challenges in the recent years, although there has rarely been a serious illness. At the end of September last year, he was admitted to Rikshospitalet due to heavy breathing. He was then on sick leave until October. The king then underwent heart surgery and has subsequently looked much better, something many have pointed out. The king was also hospitalized in early 2020, then due to dizziness. The King and Queen have recently been vaccinated against Covid-19 and will receive their second dose in early February.

The news of the King’s sick leave came just after 2 pm Norwegian time and is the leading story in Norway. The two largest TV channels have had extra news coverage of the case and several politicians have already wished the King a good recovery. According to the current plan, the King will resume his work on Monday next week, but there are currently no official events in the royal calendar that have been published.

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.