30 September 2020

King Harald on sick leave, Crown Prince Haakon to open the Storting

Crown Prince Haakon, who serves as Crown Prince Regent while his father, King Harald, is on sick leave, will undertake the formal opening of the 165th session of the Storting – the Norwegian Parliament – on Friday 2 October 2020 at 1 p.m. His mother Queen Sonja will join him for the ceremony.

Many have already pointed out the historic occasion as this Friday it is exactly 30 years since last time a Crown Prince Regent undertook the formal opening and read the speech from the Throne. On 2 October 1990 the then Crown Prince opened the Storting as his father King Olav V had been on sick leave since May that year. And of course, Aftenposten on 3 October 1990 pointed out that the last time a Crown Prince Regent undertook such a task was in 1957 when Olav served as Regent . King Haakon VII died on 21 September later the same year. The Storting sessions were organised differently at the time, so the last time Crown Prince Olav undertook the opening as Regent was on Saturday 12 January 1957. 

King Harald was admitted to Rikshospitalet (The National Hospital) in Oslo early on Friday 25 September. This meant that Crown Prince Haakon as Regent presided over the Council of State at the Royal Palace at 11 a.m. the same day, and Queen Sonja traveled alone to Lillehammer to attend the completion of Tuengen allé 1 B – the queen's childhood home – at Maihaugen Open-Air Museum. The Royal Palace informed that the king had been admitted to hospital for heavy breathing, but added that Covid-19 was already ruled out, and that king underwent a medical examination. Later the same day the public was informed that the king's health was improving while the examination continued. He was to be on sick leave until 4 October. King Harald was discharged from hospital on Monday 28 September while the hospital continued to review the king's condition.

According to the official website, King Harald will have his first public engagement on Monday 5 October when he will grant the Chief of the Royal Norwegian Navy, Counter admiral Nils Andreas Stensønes, an audience. Crown Prince Haakon will also be in attendance.

Updated on 4 October 2020 at 20.00 (I had written Tuesday 5 October instead of Monday 5 October in the last paragraph).

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