Harald V of Norway Biography

Harald V of Norway, the reigning King since January 1991, has made significant contributions to his country. Born in Norway in the late 1930s, he experienced the hardships of World War II and returned to his homeland in 1945. As a symbol of solidarity, he became the first prince to attend a public school. Harald V furthered his education at the Norwegian Military Academy and Balliol College, Oxford. Collaborating closely with his father, King Olav V, he prepared himself for his future role. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 54, Harald V implemented reforms that fostered openness within the royal household and improved relations with the national media. Additionally, his passion for sports, particularly sailing, has led him to compete in international events to this day.

Quick Facts

  • Age: 86 Years, 86 Year Old Males
  • Family: Spouse/Ex-: Queen Sonja of Norway (m. 1968), father: Olav V of Norway, mother: Princess Märtha of Sweden, children: Crown Prince of Norway, Haakon, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
  • Born Country: Norway
  • Ancestry: Swedish Norwegian, German Norwegian, French Norwegian, English Norwegian, Danish Norwegian
  • Notable Alumni: Norwegian Military Academy, University Of Oslo
  • Education: University Of Oslo, Balliol College, Oxford, Norwegian Military Academy

Childhood & Early Life

King Harald V of Norway was born on 21 February 1937 at the Skaugum estate in the Greater Oslo Region of Norway. He was the first prince to be born in Norway in 567 years. His father, King Olav V of Norway, became the heir apparent to the Norwegian throne in 1905. His mother, Princess Märtha of Sweden, died in 1954.

Harald V was the youngest of his parents’ three children and became second in line to the throne at birth. He was baptized in the Royal Chapel of the Royal Palace in Oslo and spent the first three years of his life at the Skaugum estate.

World War II and Exile

During World War II, the German invasion of Norway forced the royal family to flee. They were able to leave Oslo before the arrival of the invaders and spent time in Sweden and the United States. Harald V and his family settled in Bethesda, Maryland, where they lived for a few months.

Education and Military Service

After returning to Norway, Harald V attended public school and later enrolled at Oslo Cathedral School. He did not graduate from the University of Oslo but instead joined the Norwegian Cavalry Officer’s Training School. He represented Norway in yachting events at the Summer Olympics in 1964, 1968, and 1972.

Crown Prince and King of Norway

When his father became king in 1957, Harald V was appointed the crown prince. He took the oath to the Constitution of Norway in 1958 and served as regent in his father’s absence. In 1991, he succeeded the throne and became the first Norwegian-born king since the 14th century.

As king, Harald V has modernized and reformed the royal household and made it more accessible to the public and media. He has important duties, including opening the parliament and appointing the prime minister. He also holds weekly meetings with the prime minister and foreign minister.

King Harald V’s Reign

During his reign, Harald V has undertaken numerous state visits and hosted foreign dignitaries. He has also shown exemplary leadership during times of crisis, such as the New Year’s Day Storm in 1992 and the Norway Attacks in 2011. He continues to carry out his duties as king and visit different counties in Norway each year.

Family and Personal Life

In 1968, Harald V married Sonja Haraldsen, and they have two children together. His son, Crown Prince Haakon, is married to Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby. Despite objections to their marriages, Harald V supported both unions.

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