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King Harald of Norway, 87, hospitalised on holiday in Malaysia

The monarch's son, Crown Prince Haakon, is acting as regent

King Harald of Norway
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
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King Harald V of Norway has been hospitalised during a trip to Malaysia, the palace has confirmed.

The monarch, who turned 87 on 21 February, is on a private holiday in the South East Asian country.

In a statement, the royal court said: "His Majesty the King has fallen ill during his holiday in Malaysia and is hospitalised there with an infection. The king receives good care from both Malaysian and Norwegian medical personnel."

It comes just weeks after it was announced on 31 January that King Harald was on "sick leave" until 2 February due to a respiratory infection.

He was hospitalised for infections in May and December last year, and treated for a fever last August.

In October 2020, he had an operation to replace a heart valve and back in 2003, he underwent surgery for bladder cancer.

Harald's son, Crown Prince Haakon, has been acting as regent while his father has been unable to carry out his duties.

King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon visit in Oslo© Getty
King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon visited in Oslo on 23 January

Despite his health in recent years, King Harald has ruled out an abdication like Queen Margrethe of Denmark.

During a visit to, a non-profit fact-checking website, the monarch said: "I stand by what I have said all along. I have taken an oath to the Storting, [parliament] and it lasts for life,” referring to the promise he made to the Norwegian Parliament when he acceded the throne in 1991.

He marked the 33rd year of his reign on 17 January.

LISTEN: How King Harald of Norway could be delaying change of reign due to Crown Princess Mette-Marit's health

Harald is the third child and only son of the late King Olav V of Norway and late Princess Martha of Sweden.  

He married his long-term girlfriend Sonja Haraldsen on 29 August 1968. There were objections to their courtship as Sonja was a commoner.

The Norwegian royals during the Tanzania state visit  to Norway on 13 February© Getty
The Norwegian royals during the Tanzania state visit to Norway on 13 February

Eventually, King Olav V gave his consent as Harald told his father that if he could not marry Sonja, he would not marry at all. As Harald was the only person in the line of succession to the throne at the time, it would have ended the reign of his family.

Harald and Sonja have two children - Princess Märtha Louise, born on 22 September 1971, and Crown Prince Haakon, born on 20 July 1973.

Crown Prince Haakon is the heir to the Norwegian throne because constitutional law at the time of Princess Martha Louise's birth dictated that only males could inherit the Norwegian throne.

Haakon has two children with his wife, Crown Princess Mette-MaritPrincess Ingrid Alexandra, 20, and Prince Sverre Magnus, 18, who are second and third in line to the throne respectively. 


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