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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

King Harald heads home with new pacemaker

UPDATED: Norway’s King Harald V, Europe’s oldest reigning monarch, was released from the national hospital on Thursday and could finally head home, after receiving a new and permanent pacemaker to improve his heart beat. It replaces a temporary pacemaker inserted when the king fell ill during a recent holiday trip to Malaysia.

Officials at Rikshospitalet in Oslo said the procedure was successful. The 87-year-old king spent a few more days in the hospital as predicted, but was seen being driven home late Thursday morning.

King Harald’s personal physician, Dr Bjørn Bendz, had said earlier that his royal patient would likely remain on sick leave until after the Easter holidays. Staff at the Royal Palace announced on Thursday that he won’t return to work until April 9, to allow him plenty of time “for rest and restitution.”

“The king has had an infection that also affected his heart,” Bendz told reporters at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “When people who are nearly 90 are hospitalized with an infection, it’s always serious.” He said the king remained awake during the pacemaker procedure on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre told reporters that he had wished the king good luck with the operation and hopes he gets well soon. Støre had instructed Norway’s defense department to send a specially equipped SAS jet to Malaysia to bring both the king and Queen Sonja home from their holiday destination at Langkawi in Malaysia. The supposedly private holiday had already become glaringly public, and the royals later expressed gratitude for the medical evacuation. staff




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