28 February 2024

Norway: Update on King Harald's health situation

Following the news yesterday that King Harald had been admitted to hospital during his vacation in Malaysia, the Norwegian Royal Court issued a new statement today:

Update on His Majesty King Harald´s health situation

His Majesty The King's personal physician is in Langkawi and confirms that the King is improving from his infection. His Majesty is well taken care of at the hospital and is receiving good treatment.

His Majesty will remain at the hospital for a few more days. No decision has been made regarding his return home. The Norwegian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has offered practical assistance during the visit.

The official program for the rest of the Royal Family continues as planned.

The king's personal physician is Bjørn Bendz, b. 1964, who took over the position after Otto Smiseth in 2020. Bendz is a professor in medicine and in charge of the Heart, Lung and Vascular Clinic at Rikshospitalet (the National Hospital), which is a part of Oslo University Hospital.

The king is on vacation in Langkawi in Malaysia together with Queen Sonja. As the press statement says, no decision has been made regarding the king's return home, but as I mentioned yesterday the official program says that the Crown Prince will serve as Regent for another week and that the king has planned to preside over the Council of State on Friday 8 March. We just have to wait and see if changes to the program of official engagements will be made. 

Crown Prince Haakon said to the press today that he had talked with his parents, that his impression was that the king's health situation had improved and that he was in good hands. 

King Harald celebrated his 87th birthday last week, so it is natural that necessary precautions are taken when he has fallen ill. Some people has criticized the king for traveling, but even though he has had periods of sick leave in the last few years I don't think he would have traveled if his health had been at risk. He could easily have fallen ill while in Norway as well.

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