Skip to main contentSkip to footer

King Harald, 87, to undergo surgery as Crown Prince Haakon acts as regent

His Majesty was transported back to Norway after being hospitalised on holiday in Malaysia

Crown Prince Haakon and King Harald attend the Opening Of The Parliament on October 3, 2023
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
5 March 2024
Share this:

Norway's royal palace shared a further update about King Harald V's health following his return to his home country after being hospitalised on holiday in Malaysia.

On Monday, the royal court confirmed in a statement that the King now needs a "permanent pacemaker" after having a temporary one fitted due to a "low heart rate".

The palace added that the pacemaker implantation will take place once the monarch is completely infection-free. His general condition is "stable and improving".

King Harald, 87, fell ill with an infection while on his private holiday, it was confirmed by the palace on 27 February.

On 3 February, His Majesty flew home to Norway via medical transport and is currently being treated at Rikshospitalet in Oslo.

Several members of the royal family visited the king in hospital on Monday, including his wife, Queen Sonja, 87, his son Crown Prince Haakon and his wife, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and their daughter, Princess Ingrid-Alexandra, 20.

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway speaks as he visits the Bergen public library © Getty
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway visited the Bergen public library on Tuesday

According to Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet, Haakon and Mette-Marit's son, Prince Sverre Magnus, 18, was also pictured heading into the hospital to see his grandfather, as well as Harald's older sister, Princess Astrid, 92.

Crown Prince Haakon, 50, who is heir to the Norwegian throne, is currently acting as regent while his father is in hospital.

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

King Harald has experienced frail health in recent years. Back in January he was on "sick leave" due to a respiratory infection. He was also 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.

King Harald and Queen Sonja pose for an official portrait in 2016© Getty
King Harald and Queen Sonja celebrated their Silver Jubilee in 2016

Unlike Queen Margrethe of Denmark, who abdicated 52 years into her reign on 14 January, Harald recently ruled out giving up the throne.

During a visit to, a non-profit fact-checking website, in January, Harald set the record straight saying: "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.

LISTEN: Who are the men in grey suits and do they really run the palace?


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

If you are reading this, the chances are you are obsessed with all things royalty – which is just as well because so are we! So obsessed, in fact, we’ve launched a club solely dedicated to covering them. So welcome to The HELLO! Royal Club. We would love you to join us there…

What is it?

Interactive community offering behind-the-scenes access, exclusive royal interviews, unmissable royal insights, and an illustrious royal Inner Circle.

Member benefits

  • Two weekly newsletters, one from Emily Nash
  • Video posts and audio notes from Emily Nash and the HELLO! Royal team
  • Access to our royal community and opportunity to interact with club writers and members
  • Participate in polls, comments and discussion threads
  • Royal-themed puzzles with a weekly prize to be won
  • Access to our Ask Me Anything sessions with our journalists
  • Invitations to in-person and virtual events
  • A subscription to the digital edition of HELLO! Magazine (Worth £82 annually)*
  • Future ‘Inner Circle’ benefits

By royal decree

You are royally invited to join The HELLO! Royal Club – and then to go forth and spread the word to your fellow royal fans. See you in the club!

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Royalty

See more