Royals minted as King Harald turns 75

Norway is pulling out all the stops to celebrate King Harald’s 75th birthday on Monday, although the unassuming royal has vowed to keep things low-key.

Royals minted as King Harald turns 75

To mark the day, Norway’s central bank has minted a special edition silver coin featuring a portrait of the king and Queen Sonja, who also turns 75 later this year.

The bank said it plans to mint a maximum 40,000 of the 200-kroner ($35) coins, newspaper VG reports.

But despite flags flying in his honour all over the country, the popular regent said he had no plans to make a big deal of his birthday.

“I’m going to travel out of the country for it,” he told newspaper Dagbladet.

“I’m not going to celebrate. Birthdays don’t interest me that much anymore. Maybe it’s natural.”

The government’s gift to the royal couple, a vast exhibition covering 100 years of royal travels (1905-2005), has attracted record numbers of visitors to the National Museum since its opening last week.

The huge public interest meant weekend visitor figures were almost seven times higher than usual, said museum director Audrun Eckhoff.

“This gift is just as much to the Norwegian people. The artefacts and photographs provide us with historic documentation that is about much more than the royal family; they tell us about a whole nation’s history,” said Eckhoff.

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Norway’s King Harald leaves hospital after heart surgery

King Harald has been discharged from Rikshospitalet in Oslo after undergoing a heart operation on Friday.

Norway’s King Harald leaves hospital after heart surgery
A photo reportedly of King Harald on the way to hospital last week. Photo: AFP

The Norwegian palace confirmed to news wire NTB that the king was to leave hospital following the procedure three days ago.

“The king is in good form and will travel home from Rikshospitalet today,” the king’s doctor, consultant Bjørn Bendz, said in the statement.

The palace had confirmed during the weekend that the king was well after the procedure to fix an artificial valve he received during a previous operation in 2005.

Artificial valves of the type the king received have a life span of 10-15 years. As such, it is not uncommon for them to be replaced.

“His majesty the king is well after yesterday’s intervention. The king has been for a short stroll, and his condition is good,” Bendz said in a statement on Saturday.

Last month, the king spent a short time in hospital due to respiratory problems unrelated to Covid-19.

He is currently on indefinite sick leave, with his son Crown Prince Haakon deputising the king’s royal duties.

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