Norway’s 86-year-old king tests positive for COVID-19 and has mild symptoms

King Harald V of Norway, 86, tested positive for coronavirus and has mild symptoms

ByThe Associated Press

October 22, 2023, 11:19

King Harald V of Norway arrives before the Euro 2024 qualifying Group A soccer match between Norway and Spain at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo, Norway, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023. (Frederik Ringnes/NTB Scanpix via AP )

King Harald V of Norway arrives before the Euro 2024 qualifying Group A soccer match between Norway and Spain at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo, Norway, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023. (Frederik Ringnes/NTB Scanpix via AP )

The Associated Press

HELSINKI– King Harald V of Norway, 86, who has been in poor health in recent years, tested positive for coronavirus and has mild symptoms, royal officials said Sunday.

“His Majesty the King has been diagnosed with corona and is on sick leave until he is symptom-free. “The king has cold symptoms and is staying home,” the royal household said in a brief statement.

The Norwegian monarch had also tested positive in March 2022 with mild symptoms. Authorities previously said Harald had received three shots of the COVID-19 vaccine, but it was not known if he had received booster shots.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre wished the king “a speedy recovery” in a comment to the Norwegian news agency NTB, which said Harald’s son and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Haakon, would assume his duties for now.

The elderly monarch, who has been seen using crutches on several occasions, has been hospitalized several times in recent years.

In August 2022 he spent three days with fever in a hospital and in December of the same year he was admitted again for an infection that required intravenous antibiotics.

In October 2020, the king underwent surgery to replace a heart valve after being hospitalized for breathing difficulties.

Despite his health problems, he has attended important public events in Norway and its Nordic neighbors. In September, Harald attended celebrations in Stockholm marking the 50th anniversary of the accession of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

In May, the monarch, who had been released from a hospital just days earlier, appeared on the balcony of the royal castle in Oslo to greet thousands of children parading as the country celebrated Constitution Day.

The king is Norway’s head of state but has no political power, so his duties are ceremonial. Harald ascended the throne after the death of his father, King Olav, in 1991.


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