2 March 2024

Norway: Update on King Harald's health situation – temporary pacemaker implanted

Yesterday the Norwegian Royal Court issued another update on King Harald's health situation:

Update on His Majesty King Harald's health situation

His Majesty The King´s health is still improving. His Majesty will remain at the hospital for a few more days for treatment and rest before returning home to Norway.


Today the court could reveal that the king has had a temporary pacemaker implanted:

Update on His Majesty King Harald's health situation

His Majesty The King had a temporary pacemaker implanted today at Hospital Sultanah Maliha in Langkawi. 

–  The pacemaker was implanted due to a low heart rate. The decision was made earlier today, and the procedure was successful. His Majesty is doing well under the circumstances but still requires rest. The procedure will make the return back home safer, according to His Majesty The King's personal physician, Bjørn Bendz. 

The medical transportation to Norway is likely to take place within the next couple of days. 


The last statement sounds a bit more dramatic than earlier statements which has mainly dealt with the king fallen ill with an infection. But I continue to believe that the king is taken well care of and that he just needs some time to get better again. I suspect, however, that the king will not be able to preside over the Council of State coming Friday as planned, even if he will return home within the next couple of days. He might be on sick leave for a while. We will surely get more information in due course.

Meanwhile the king's health situation, his vacation and the transportation home has been among the topics in the general and social media the last days. First of all, as I have already commented earlier, I don't think the king would have traveled to Malaysia if his health had not allowed it. He was just a bit unlucky that he got ill while on vacation. He should be allowed to go on vacation as everyone else, even if he is 87 years old. 

The media has also covered the flight of the medical plane which has already landed at the Langkawi International Airport. The transportation is said to cost above NOK 2 millions (as of today about 189.222 USD). The expenses will be covered by the defense budget. Of course this is a lot of money, but we are talking about the head of state here, and this is is the most efficient, secure and comfortable way of getting him home. It should not be a discussion about the form of government. A Norwegian president (God forbid!) fallen ill while on vacation would surely also be transported home the same way to make it possible for him or her to resume governing (just as in case of a monarch to resume reigning) as soon as possible.

Earlier articles on the King's hospitalisation in Malaysia:

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