King of Norway undergoes major operation to fit permanent pacemaker as he remains in hospital

King Harald

King Harald is the Norwegian monarch

Dorothy Reddin

By Dorothy Reddin

Published: 12/03/2024

- 13:42

King Harald was hospitalised during a holiday in Malaysia

  • King Harald of Norway is Europe's current oldest living monarch
  • The monarch has had ongoing health problems recently
  • Have your say and comment now: Do you follow the European Royal Families?

The King of Norway has undergone a major operation to fit a permanent pacemaker as he remains in hospital.

King Harald, 87, received a pacemaker implant on Tuesday in a scheduled operation to help compensate for a low heart rate, the royal court has confirmed.

The monarch was hospitalised last month for an infection while on holiday in Malaysia.

He received a temporary pacemaker at a hospital there on March 2.

Norway's King Harald

Norway's King Harald on his way home from Malaysia


He was later transferred to Norway for further treatment, where his doctors said a permanent device would be implanted.

The Palace said in a statement: "The operation was successful, and the King is doing well."

He will remain in hospital for a few days, the royal court has also said.

King Harald has been Norway's ceremonial head of state since 1991, and he is currently Europe's oldest living monarch.

King Harald

King Harald has had ongoing health issues


He has repeatedly been hospitalised with infections in recent years and has undergone heart surgery.

His son, Crown Prince Haakon, has been carrying out his father's duties in the latter's absence.

King Harald has previously said he will not consider abdicating the throne, especially in light of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark stepping down last year.

He said: “I stick by what I’ve always said, that I swore an oath to the Storting (parliament) and it is for life.”

Queen Elizabeth II and King Harald

Queen Elizabeth II and King Harald in 2018


Harald was speaking to a Norwegian press centre in Oslo with Crown Prince Haakon.

The Norwegian King’s health has led to speculation over whether he would follow in the footsteps of his 83-year-old distant cousin, Queen Margrethe.

The Queen of Denmark stepped down from the throne in less than a year after she underwent extensive back surgery.

Abdication is more prevalent in Europe as opposed to the UK, where there hasn't been an abdication since 1936 with King Edward VIII.


Princess Kate and King Harald

Princess Kate and King Harald together in 2018


In countries like The Netherlands for example, four out of the six monarchs that ruled before the current King have abdicated.

Despite Harald's health issues, the Royal Family have maintained an active approach to public engagements.

It comes as King Harald thanked well-wishers for support after revealing he is undergoing "expert" treatment due to his "challenging" health condition.

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