UPDATED: Norway’s King Harald V spent the weekend at the National Hospital (Rikshospitalet), receiving treatment for an infection. He was said to be recovering on Sunday and on Monday, he was deemed to be healthy enough to be released and sent home.
The Royal Palace declined to specify what type of infection the monarch had, but reported late Sunday afternoon that his condition was improving. On Monday the palace issued a one-sentence press release reporting that King Harald had been released from Rikshospitalet and was “in fine shape.”
Palace spokesman Sven Gjeruldsen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that the king had cancelled his program for Monday. The program included meetings with the head of Norway’s naval defense, representatives of the Bahai faith, Brigadier Jon Morten Mangersnes and the leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen. There was nothing on his program for Tuesday or Wednesday either, but he was scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide at 10am Thursday, and to hold his weekly meeting with the prime minister on Friday morning, followed by the weekly Council of State at the palace.
King Harald turned 80 earlier this year but he has maintained an active schedule. He visited victims of the floods that hit Southern Norway earlier this month, for example, and he was on hand to mark the official arrival of the first of Norway’s F35 fighter jets at Ørland Air Force Base just over a week ago.
King Harald has been Norway’s monarch since January 1991, when he succeeded his late father King Olav V. His popularity has increased with the years and he also has attracted international attention for his tolerance and promotion of diversity within Norway’s population,
He underwent surgery and treatment for bladder cancer in 2003 but recovered quickly. Both King Harald and Queen Sonja, also 80, have gradually shared more royal duties in recent years with their son and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Haakon, but the monarch has repeatedly rejected any notion of abdicating. The king famously remarked to NRK last summer that he told Queen Sonja, while they sat quietly to read during a private holiday earlier this year, that, “Sonja, this is the closest we’ll ever get to retirement.”