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King Harald extends sick leave after hospitalisation as Haakon and Mette-Marit step in

The Crown Prince and Princess will represent the monarch at engagements

2016 portrait of Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Queen Sonja of Norway and King Harald V of Norway
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
5 April 2024
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King Harald has extended his sick leave, Norway's palace has confirmed.

The monarch, 87, was due to resume his duties on 8 April but it's been announced that following his hospitalisation, he will rest for a further two weeks until 22 April.

Harald, who has reigned for 33 years, fell ill with an infection while on a private holiday in Malaysia with Queen Sonja in February.

He was flown back to Norway to have a permanent pacemaker fitted on 12 March and was discharged from Rikshospitalet in Oslo two days later.

Harald's heir and son, Crown Prince Haakon, will remain acting as regent while his father is on sick leave.

The palace has also confirmed that senior members of the royal family will step in for the king at his engagements in the coming weeks.

Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Queen Sonja will hold a medal reception on the monarch's behalf on 9 April.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit will then present the National Association for Public Health's research awards on 15 April. The royal has had to restrict her royal duties in recent years after being diagnosed with chronic pulmonary fibrosis in 2018.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway© Getty
Haakon and Mette-Marit with their children, Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus

Queen Silvia will also visit Melhus as well as Skaun municipality on 16 April.

The palace has confirmed Crown Prince Haakon's trip to the west coast of the US will still go ahead as planned from 15 to 19 April. In line with the Constitution, the government will oversee the governance of the country that week.

 Haakon, 50, undertook an official visit to Lithuania earlier this week, where he met with the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda as well as the Norwegian force contribution in Rukla camp.

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The Crown Prince and Princess are parents to Princess Ingrid Alexandra, 20, and Prince Sverre Magnus.

Ingrid Alexandra is currently in the middle of her military training at the Engineer Battalion in Brigade Nord, while Sverre Magnus is finalising his education at Elvebakken Upper Secondary School in Oslo.

The Norwegian royals were all pictured together in a new portrait released ahead of Easter, celebrating the holiday at Bygdø Royal Farm – the king's summer residence on the northwestern part of the Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo. 

Norway royal family at Easter© Simen Løvberg Sund / The Royal Court
Norway's royal family posed for a portrait before Easter

Harald became King following his father King Olav's death in 1991 and in 2016 he celebrated his Silver Jubilee.

Despite a bout of ill-health in recent years, he ruled out abdicating like Denmark's Queen Margrethe, stating in January: "I stand by what I have said all along. I have taken an oath to the Storting, [parliament] and it lasts for life."

LISTEN: Inside King Charles' private lunch with Princess Kate


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