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King Harald's Doctor Gives a Health Update on the Norwegian Monarch

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King Harald's Doctor Gives a Health UpdateWPA Pool - Getty Images

King Harald's health continues to improve after he was hospitalized in Malaysia for an infection at the end of last month.

The Norwegian king, 87, is Europe's oldest monarch, and has been beset by a number of health issues in recent years. Today, at the hospital Rikshospitalet in Oslo, he had a permanent pacemaker implanted. This morning, the Royal House of Norway said in a statement, "His Majesty The King received this morning a permanent pacemaker. The procedure was successful, and His Majesty is doing well. His Majesty will remain in hospital for a few more days."

After the surgery, his doctor, Dr. Bjørn Bendz, held a brief press conference, where he provided health updates on King Harald. Dr. Bendz said Harald will remain in the hospital "a few more days," and remain on sick leave until after Easter. "The king has had an infection that also affected his heart," Dr. Bendz told reporters, per Dagbladet, a Norwegian news outlet. "When people who are nearly 90 are hospitalized with an infection, it's always serious." He said the pacemaker surgery was successful, and the King was awake. He said the Harald is on the road to recovery.

The ways in which King Harald's illness has been discussed in the press is a marked difference from how the British royals are handling King Charles's cancer diagnosis (and, to an extent, Kate Middleton's abdominal surgery and recovery). The Norwegian royals have provided near-constant updates since Harald's hospitalization, whereas Buckingham Palace has not shared many details on Charles's condition or treatment.

In a statement released last week, King Harald and his wife, Queen Sonja, said, "We have felt the warmth flowing from the Norwegian people during this time. The great commitment has moved us, and strengthened us. Many thanks to everyone for the care you have shown us in the family."

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