Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon has assumed the role of regent while the King recovers

King Harald V of Norway and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway.
Photo: Kongehuset/S.Sundsbø

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway has assumed the role of regent, due to his father, His Majesty King Harald V has contracted a viral infection.

The heir to the Norwegian throne will perform the King’s duties until the 82-year-old monarch returns to work, which he hopes will be before Christmas Day.

“He is sick with a viral infection, but he is doing well,” Haakon told Norwegian broadcaster NRK, adding that he believes his father will be back to his best in a couple of days.

As for whether it will have consequences for the royal family’s Christmas celebrations — which include a festive card released Saturday— he added: “We hope not,” according to NRK.

This isn’t the first time Crown Prince Haakon has assumed the title of regent — essentially, ruling as King but without the official coronation. Harald stepped back for three days in 2018 due to acute foot pain. The Norwegian King also underwent surgery for a heart condition in 2005, and was successfully treated for bladder cancer in 2003.

The move is fairly common among the royal houses of Europe and has happened frequently across the centuries to continue royal power should a monarch fall ill. Questions were first raised about King Harald’s health when he failed to attend a cabinet meeting on 18th December. The next cabinet is scheduled for 20th December and it’s not currently known if he will attend, adds NRK.

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