4 APRIL 2005

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Crown Prince Haakon of Norway has temporarily taken over his father's duties as the monarch recovers from heart surgery in an Oslo hospital.

Doctors say they are "extremely satisfied" with King Harald's progress since he underwent a three-hour heart bypass and valve replacement on Friday.

Palace officials report that the 68-year-old's condition is stable and he is already up and about several times a day as part of his rehabilitation. He is expected to remain at the National Hospital for at least another week. After leaving the clinic, the monarch will put royal duties on hold through at least the month of May.

The heart procedure is just the most recent health issue the Norwegian royal has faced in recent years. In December 2003, King Harald underwent surgery for bladder cancer and took several months off to recuperate.

Doctors say they are "extremely satisfied" with the king's progress after he underwent a bypass and heart valve replacement surgery on Friday
Photo: AFP
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