King out sailing again

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Norway’s King Harald had mostly stayed out of the media in recent weeks, until news broke that he and Queen Sonja had used false passports when they took off on their honeymoon 42 years ago. Now he’s off sailing in another regatta, this time in Spain.

PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN - AUGUST 02: King Harald of Norway is seen on board of the 'Fram' during the 29th Copa del Rey Mapfre Audi Sailing Cup on August 2, 2010 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Newspaper Dagbladet reported late last week that the royal couple, who were the crown prince and new crown princess back in 1968, deliberately tried to fool reporters by sailing out of Oslo on the royal yacht Norge. The press was led to believe they were sailing all the way to Mexico, where then-Crown Prince Harald was to sail in the Olympics.

Instead, the yacht merely ferried the newlyweds to Vollen in Asker, just west of Oslo, where they snuck off the ship and spent their wedding night at their royal estate at Skaugum. Then they borrowed a friend’s cabin in the mountains before they flew to London and then on to the US, where their destination turned out to be Hawaii.

That’s when they used false passports that had been issued, probably illegally officials now admit, by the Oslo Police. US officials went along with the ruse and issued the couple tourist visas also in the false names of Tom and Eva Manstad, according to secret documents recently released and obtained by Dagbladet.

The couple, and palace officials, had declined offers of special security protection while in the US and preferred to travel alone and at their own risk to the Big Island of Hawaii, where they spent time both at the Kona Village resort (long known for its individual bungalows with no locks on the doors) and then on a sailboat off the islands. King Harald said in an biography released four years ago that “we actually became quite familiar with Hawaii.”

Now the king is sailing again, this time on board his boat Fram during the 29th Copa del Rey Mapfre Audi Sailing Cup off Palma de Mallorca in Spain. After several days of competition he and his crew were in sixth place.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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