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Norway's King Harald to reduce his workload

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Norway's King Harald to reduce his workload
King Harald would reduce his workload, due to his age. Pictured is Norway's King Harald. Photo by JOHN SIBLEY / POOL / AFP

Norway's 87-year-old King Harald, who returned to work on Monday after nearly two months' sick leave, will reduce his workload due to his advanced age, the palace said.

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Europe's oldest reigning monarch, who is in fragile health, contracted an infection while on holiday on the Malaysian island of Langkawi in late February.

He was repatriated on a medical transport flight to Norway, where he was fitted with a permanent pacemaker to replace a temporary one he received in Malaysia.

"His majesty the King is happy to be back and resume his duties," the palace said.

However, it said the monarch would "make adjustments to his schedule going forward, given his age", citing "a permanent reduction in the number and scope of activities".

Harald, who has been on the throne since 1991, needs crutches to get around and has suffered a series of health issues in recent years.

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But he has dismissed speculation that he would follow the lead of his 83-year-old distant cousin Queen Margrethe II in Denmark and abdicate.

Crown Prince Haakon, 50, steps in as regent when the king is absent.

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