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Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

King Harald of Norway, the oldest reigning monarch in Europe at 87 years old, is set to return home after falling ill during a holiday in Malaysia. The Royal Palace confirmed his medical situation, stating that he had contracted an infection while visiting the island of Langkawi, leading to his hospitalization on Tuesday.

Following his admission, medical professionals fitted King Harald with a “temporary” pacemaker, a measure deemed necessary by his personal physician to ensure a safe return journey. In an official statement released on Sunday, the palace announced that the King, accompanied by Queen Sonja, would soon depart from Langkawi Airport for medical transportation back to Norway.

Upon arrival in Norway, King Harald will be admitted to Rikshospitalet hospital in Oslo, where he is expected to undergo further medical care. The statement further indicated that the King would be on sick leave for a duration of two weeks as part of his recovery process.

A medical plane, believed to be transporting King Harald, departed from Langkawi on Sunday afternoon under police escort, with an ambulance accompanying the convoy. The flight, operated by Scandinavian airline SAS, is scheduled to arrive in Oslo at 2259 GMT, as reported by the specialist website Flightradar.

King Harald’s health challenges have been evident in recent years, necessitating the use of crutches for mobility. Earlier in January, he battled a respiratory infection, dispelling speculations about abdication following the footsteps of his distant cousin, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. During his absence, Crown Prince Haakon, aged 50, has assumed the role of regent, ensuring continuity in governance.

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