Norway’s aging king to remain on sick leave after surgery

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway’s 84-year-old King Harald V will remain on sick leave from his ceremonial duties until April 11 after successful leg surgery earlier this year, the palace said Friday.

In January, the ageing monarch underwent a surgery for torn tendons above the knee and was “in good recovery and continues treatment and training,” the palace said.

The sick leave is one of several for the popular king in the past two years. Last year, the monarch underwent a successful operation to replace a heart valve. Doctors had ruled out COVID-19. Months earlier, he was on sick leave because of dizziness.

The royal household in Oslo said the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Haakon, has stepped in and temporarily taken over his father’s duties.

Harald is Norway’s head of state, but his duties are ceremonial, and he holds no political power. He ascended to the throne following the death of his father, King Olav, on Jan. 17, 1991.

The country’s first native-born king since the 14th century, he married a commoner as a prince and won hearts in his egalitarian country by leading the mourning in 2011 for the victims of mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

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