In a new book about King Harald which will be published in Norway this autumn, the King talks about his views on the future of the Norwegian monarchy and the relationship he has with his own son, the future king and present Crown Prince of Norway.
When the king looks ahead to the future of the monarchy, it is with optimism. He has a close relationship with the heir to the throne. King Harald says in the book: “He has become a friend and co-worker. He asks me for advice and I get advice from him. The relationship has become closer and closer. He is a wise guy.”
King Harald continues: “It will go well with him when the time comes. It gives a good feeling to know that. I think my father was more worried than I am. I am so lucky that it is Crown Prince Haakon who will be Norway’s future. He has been with me all my time as King and has been involved all the time. Then he can take what he wants with him, and change what he wants when I am no longer here,”
Crown Prince Haakon is a respected man in Norway. The Norwegian monarchy is among the strongest in the world with approval ratings of over 80% in polls since King Harald took over the throne from his father, King Olav V, in 1991. In recent years, the Crown Prince has been given a number of new tasks and during the King’s illness, as now, he rules the country as Crown Prince Regent.
On 2 October this year Crown Prince Haakon, for the first time, oversaw the solemn and traditional opening of the Norwegian Parliament. It was the first time a Crown Prince had carried out this duty in thirty years. Norway has never had any tradition of abdication and the idea is not popular, either among the people or the royals. In previous interviews, King Harald has made it explicitly clear that he believes it is completely inappropriate for him to abdicate.