Oldest Reigning Monarch in Europe Receives Pacemaker at 86

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.12 - 2024 1:42 PM CET

Norway's King Harald V was fitted with a pacemaker.

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Norway's King Harald V, the oldest reigning monarch in Europe, was fitted with a pacemaker on Tuesday, as confirmed by the Associated Press citing the Norwegian royal palace.

The 87-year-old king underwent the medical procedure at Oslo University Hospital and is expected to stay in the hospital for several more days for recovery. "The operation was successful, and the king is doing well," the palace announced.

Last month, King Harald fell ill during a private vacation with Queen Sonia on the Malaysian resort island of Langkawi. He received a temporary pacemaker after surgery to address a low heart rate and was flown back to Norway on a medical plane for further care.

King Harald has faced several health challenges in recent years, including heart valve replacement surgery in October 2020. Despite these health issues, he stated at the end of January that he has no plans to abdicate the throne during his lifetime.

Having reigned for 33 years, King Harald's role as Norway's head of state is largely ceremonial, with no political powers. The next in line for the Norwegian throne is his only son, Crown Prince Haakon, who is 50 years old.

This news follows a historic event in Denmark on January 14, where King Frederik X ascended the throne after Queen Margrethe II's abdication, ending her 52-year reign. This marked the first abdication in Denmark in 900 years.