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King Harald of Norway, 88, to reduce public commitments



The king of Norway is to permanently scale back his duties after suffering an illness earlier this year.

King Harald, the Scandinavian country’s 88-year-old sovereign, will reduce his public commitments, the palace said on Monday.

The move will entail a “permanent reduction in the number and scope of activities in which the king participates”, the royal house said in a statement.

Europe’s oldest reigning monarch only returned to official duties this week after being hospitalised while on holiday in Malaysia in February.

Doctors then implanted a pacemaker due to a low heart rate and he was flown back to Norway on an evacuation flight several days later.

His son Hakaan, 50, took over royal duties while he recovered.

Norway’s royal house said that despite his reduced calendar, the king would still conduct audiences at the palace and travel around the country for official visits.

“Practical arrangements will also be made in the implementation of his official activity,” it said in a statement which cited “his age” as the reason for the decision.

Harald V has been on the throne since 1991 when he took over from his father, Olav V.

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