Active King turns 83

King HaraldKing Harald.Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

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On Friday it will be 83 years since King Harald was born at Skaugum in Asker. He is still very active and will soon be traveling to Jordan.

“The celebration is going to be private,” communication manager Guri Varpe at the Palace told NTB. Beyond that, she has no comment on how the Royal family will spend the birthday.

The King has left behind an at times tough year . At Christmas, his former son-in-law Ari Behn took his own life. In his New Year’s speech, King Harald said that the death has affected the Royal family greatly.

– Sometimes life is too hard to endure. For some, it gets so dark that nothing helps. Not even the love of their loved ones. Some see no other way than to leave this life. Those who remain must live on. Poorer – without the one they loved, said the king in his speech.

In January, King Harald was admitted to the State Hospital due to dizziness, but no serious illness was detected. He was hospitalized for a week before being discharged , and was on sick leave for a period.

He was also signed off sick a few days before Christmas due to a viral infection.

On tour
But now the king is well again, and at the beginning of March he and the Queen are scheduled to go on their 50th state visit. This time, the trip will go to Jordan to visit King Abdullah and Queen Rania on what will be their first state visit to the Middle East.

Amongst other things, the Royal couple will visit a girls’ school, the baptising site of Jesus on the Jordan River, the Dead Sea and the famous ancient city of Petra.

Participating on the trip will be Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H), who has previously praised how fit the birthday boy and Queen are.

– They are mature adults, that’s no doubt. But I haven’t exactly noticed any reduction in tempo in spite of that . This is my fourth state visit with the King and Queen, and three of them have been to countries far away. First to Argentina and China last year, and now here, Søreide said during the State visit to Chile in March.

“The secret is to sleep well at night,” the king replied.

Keep it up
In the past year, the Royal couple has also been on trips to counties like Hordaland and the municipalities of Jondal, Odda, Granvin, Ulvik and Askøy.

In August, they celebrated the confirmation of Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

– You are conscientious, determined and good-natured. You are warm and wise. You also have humor, said an emotional king in his speech to her.

Although the king is approaching his mid-80s, he has no plans to abdicate. In an interview with Dagens Næringsliv last year, he repeated previous assurances that he will never leave the throne for as long as he lives.

“It has become a tradition in this country for us to continue to ” the bitter end “, he said.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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