Norwegian king ill after meeting coronavirus-positive minister

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King Harald V, Norway, Europe

Norway’s 84-year-old King Harald V will take a few days off with cold-like symptoms, the palace has said, a day after meeting foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt, who later tested positive for coronavirus.

The royal household said in a brief statement that “all necessary examinations and tests will be carried out”, and his son and heir, Crown Prince Haakon, has taken over his father’s duties.

In a statement to Norwegian news agency NTB, Ms Huitfeldt said that “I sincerely hope that I have not infected King Harald, Queen Sonja or Crown Prince Haakon” and wished the monarch a “good recovery”.

Harald has had three vaccine jabs, although he has been ill several times in recent years, including in 2020 when he had an operation for a new heart valve.

His 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, on January 17 1991.

The country’s first native-born king since the 14th century, he married a commoner as a prince and won hearts in Norway by leading the mourning in 2011 for the victims of mass killer Anders Breivik.

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