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Europe’s oldest monarch who fell ill on vacation will get a pacemaker, Norway’s palace says

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The infection that sent Europe’s oldest monarch, King Harald V of Norway, to a hospital while traveling in Malaysia is under control and the implantation of a permanent pacemaker likely can take place early next week, the royal palace said Wednesday.

“The king is steadily improving, and the general condition is satisfactory,” the palace said in a brief statement.

Last week, the 87-year-old king fell ill during a private holiday. He underwent surgery on Saturday and received a temporary pacemaker due to a low heart rate.

Harald returned to Norway on Sunday and was transferred to an Oslo hospital.

The monarch has had frail health in recent years with numerous hospital stays. He had an operation to replace a heart valve in October 2020 after being hospitalized with breathing difficulties.

Harald repeatedly has said he has no plans to abdicate, unlike his second cousin Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, who stepped down earlier this year.

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

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