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Norway’s King Harald, 85 – second cousin to Queen Elizabeth – hospitalised after Sailing World Cup

Norway’s King Harald – 85-year-old second cousin to Queen Elizabeth – is hospitalised with a fever just days after competing in Sailing World Cup event

  • Three-time Olympian, 85, is in a stable condition after Sailing World Cup event
  • A second cousin of the Queen, Harald is also 78th in line to the British throne 
  • Harald has ruled Norway since January 1991, succeeding his father, Olav V
  • The monarch had a leg operation in January, a month before his birthday
  • He also suffered Covid in March, with son Haakon briefly ruling in his absence 
  • But he insisted in participating in last week’s Sailing World Cup, finishing tenth 

King Harald of Norway has been hospitalised with a fever, the country’s royal household said in a statement this afternoon.

The monarch and three-time Olympian, 85, is in a stable condition at Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet, it added.

He underwent a leg operation in January and tested positive for Covid in March, with his son, Crown Prince Haakon, briefly assuming the responsibilities of the monarch. 

Harald V has ruled the Scandinavian country since January 1991, succeeding his father, Olav V. 

A second cousin of Queen Elizabeth, Harald is 78th in line to the British throne. 

King Harald (right) is pictured with Queen Sonja (left) at a museum in Oslo on June 16, 2022

Harald, who walks accompanied by a bodyguard in June, was taken to Oslo University Hospital

Harald, who walks accompanied by a bodyguard in June, was taken to Oslo University Hospital

They are linked by great-grandparents King Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 to 1910, and Queen Alexandra of Denmark.

Harald is a second cousin to the Queen (pictured in June) and 78th in line to the British throne

Harald is a second cousin to the Queen (pictured in June) and 78th in line to the British throne

Edward was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s eldest son, with Queen Alexandra his wife of 47 years.

When Norway became independent in 1905, it asked Danish monarch Prince Carl to be king. That brought the two families together and extended Victoria and Albert’s descendants into another country’s royal family.

Harald sailed with a crew of six others in a Swiss sailing event just last week on family boat Sira, built by his Olympic gold medalist father in the 1930s.

The monarch participated in the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympics, representing Norway in yachting events. He never medalled.

Harald underwent a leg operation in January, a month before his 85th birthday, but insisted on taking part in the Sailing World Cup.

He finished in an impressive tenth place.

Event committee chair Jean Olivier Kerr said: ‘He really gave the younger sailors tough competition. It was fun to watch.

‘He has a strong competitive instinct. He is not here just to enjoy himself and have fun.’

King Harald is pictured in November with Dutch king Willem-Alexander for an official portrait

King Harald is pictured in November with Dutch king Willem-Alexander for an official portrait

The king (centre) sits on the throne, flanked by Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon

The king (centre) sits on the throne, flanked by Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon

Harald’s relationship with Queen Sonja was initially controversial as she was a commoner born to a humble clothing saleswoman.

They married in 1968 despite some public opposition. 

They have two children, with son Haakon, 49, the Crown Prince and heir apparent.

Their daughter is Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, 50.

Queen Elizabeth poses for a coronation photograph with members of her Norwegian family

Queen Elizabeth poses for a coronation photograph with members of her Norwegian family 

King Harald is pictured accompanying Princess Ingrid Alexandra on her 18th birthday in June

King Harald is pictured accompanying Princess Ingrid Alexandra on her 18th birthday in June

Queen Elizabeth’s first foreign trip as monarch, in 1955, was to visit her family in Norway.

King Haakon welcomed her to Oslo, two years before he died and was succeeded by his son Olav, Harald’s father.

The Queen made further visits to Oslo in 1981 and 2002.

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