Norway’s King Harald V was back at work on Monday after a week of sick leave. The 86-year-old monarch got through another bout of the Corona virus, and reportedly was ready, among other duties, to royally welcome the Nordic Council to Oslo on Tuesday.
The king and Queen Sonja will host a luncheon at the Royal Palace for the Nordic Council, which is holding its 75th session in Oslo this week because Norway currently holds the council’s presidency. The leaders of all five Nordic countries will be in Oslo, along with those from Greenland, Åland and the Faroe Islands. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is scheduled to speak at the Nordic Council’s meeting, as Sweden still waits for formal acceptance into NATO itself from Turkey and Hungary.
On Monday, meanwhile, the monarch faced a full day of meetings, first with the head of the Norwegian Navy, then with the leader of a government commission charged with assessing and improving national preparednes. In the evening, he was due to attend a meeting of the Oslo Militære Samfund.
The king’s illness last week meant that he couldn’t, for the first time, host an annual banquet at the Royal Palace for all Members of Parliament. His son, Crown Prince Haakon, took over as host and read the king’s traditional address to MPs and the government, which, as usual, was full of humourous royal observations of recent issues and conflicts. The crown prince, meanwhile, was also attending several Nordic Council events before flying north to open a new Norwegian space center at Andøya that will be used for satellite launchings.