King Harald is quieter – his son takes over appointments

King Harald is quieter – his son takes over appointments
Crown Prince Hakoon and his wife Mette-Marit are ready.

It is not only members of the English royal family who are currently confronted with diagnoses of serious illnesses, some of which make it impossible for them to continue to fully perform their royal duties.

The Norwegian King Harald (87) also announced a decisive change a few days ago after his long break due to illness.

Europe’s oldest monarch wants to significantly reduce his official duties and appointments after a pacemaker operation. “The King will adapt his program in the future due to his age. This will lead to a permanent reduction in the number and scope of activities in which the King takes part,” the royal family said in Oslo. “Practical arrangements” would also be made for his official activities.

What exactly is meant by this – a slow, quiet step or even a quick abdication – is unclear. Until now, he had always emphasized that he wanted to remain in office until his death.

In treatment for 20 years

King Harald has been on the Norwegian throne since 1991, when he replaced his father King Olav. The now 87-year-old has been struggling with his health for some time now. He had to undergo cancer surgery in 2003. In 2005 and 2020 he had a new heart valve inserted. At Christmas 2019, the king was battling a serious viral illness. Corona illness, knee surgery and heart surgery have also made things difficult for the monarch over the past four years. Crown Prince Haakon, who celebrated his 50th birthday last year, repeatedly took on the duties of acting regent. So Crown Prince Haakon already has some practice. The 50-year-old is considered very modern, is committed, among other things, to environmental protection and in November attended a German-Norwegian conference on the climate-friendly restructuring of the economy.

There he called the green transition a necessity and an opportunity, but also admitted: “We have not done enough and are not making progress fast enough.” The Crown Prince has just extended his contract as a special ambassador for the UN development program UNDP and is committed to the fight against poverty and the sustainable use of the oceans. But he is also involved in defense issues. Unfortunately, they are more relevant “than we hoped,” said Haakon, who is interested in music, is an enthusiastic surfer and, as a Norwegian, of course skis – not only in the snow, but also on the water.

Happy marriage to Mette-Marit

The Norwegians appreciate Haakon for always taking unusual paths and sticking to his convictions. He is married to 50-year-old Mette-Marit, who brought an illegitimate son into the marriage. This earned the two of them a lot of headlines.

But the waves have long since calmed down. Haakon and Mette-Marit have two children together: Princess Ingrid Alexandra (20) and Prince Sverre Magnus (18). They show themselves to be a modern, down-to-earth and very active family. In their free time, the royals spend a lot of time outdoors. Mette-Marit also lives with a chronic illness. She was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis five years ago and is being treated. (bar)

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