Harald V is the present King of Norway, a NATO member country. He ascended the throne on 17 January 1991. Harald is also an avid sportsman who represented Norway in 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games of sailing.

Early Life and Education

Harald V was born to the Norwegian royal family on 21 February 1937 in Skaugum, Akershus, Norway. He was raised by father Olav V of Norway and mother Princess Martha of Sweden with two other siblings.

Prince Harald was just 3 when the family had to run away from Norway due to German invasion at the heat of second world war. Hence, while he lived with his mother in Norway, his father lived in London. During war time, Harald V attended White Hall County School in the US. As the war ended and the royal family returned to Norway, he joined Smestad Skole as a third grader.

After high school, Prince Harald went to the University of Oslo and also had a few terms at Cavalry Officers’ Candidate School and Norwegian Military Academy. Following a graduation from the military academy, he joined the University of Oxford for a joint degree in history, economics, and politics.

Personal Life

King Harald V with queen Sanja.
King Harald V with queen Sanja.

Harald V is a man of modest nature. He married Sonja Haraldsen on 29 August 1968. Since Queen Sonja was a commoner, the marriage became a topic of gossips and controversy. Now, the couple has two children: Martha Louise and Haakon. Prince Haakon is the future successor of King Harald V.

Career

Prince Harald succeeded his father on 17 January 1991. As a King, he holds the power to appoint government, approve prime ministership of the leader with a parliamentary majority and make state visits to develop the Norwegian relations. Likewise, King Harald is also subjected to weekly briefings from the PM and the Foreign Minister. In 2006, King Harald invited Spanish counterpart King Juan Carlos for an official visit. In the same way, King Harald has also been to numerous nations around the world for state visits.

Besides the experiences of being in a royal family, King Harald possesses triumphing experiences of participating in numerous national and international games. He was a Norwegian participant in sailing in Tokyo Olympics (1964), Mexico City Olympics (1968) and Munich Olympics (1972). Moreover, he was the flag carrier in the 1964 Olympics. After retiring from Olympic sailing, King Harald made visits to opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics held in various parts of the world.

Although King Harald couldn’t bag a medal in Olympics, he largely contributed to his 1987 World Championship winning team. Prior to 1987, Harald’s team had been able to bank silver in 1982. Besides having a keen interest in athletics, he is also immensely adventurous: He is the first ever monarch to step on Antarctica.

 

Honours

National

  • St Olav’s medal
  • Defence Service Medal with Laurel Branch
  • King Haakon VII Commemorative Medal 1. October 1957
  • Haakon VIIs Centenary Medal
  • Olav Vs Jubilee Medal
  • Defence Service Medal with three stars
  • Norwegian Red Cross Badge of Honour
  • The Naval Society Medal of Merit in gold
  • The Norwegian Confederation of Sports Centenary Medal

Foreign

  • Iceland – Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Falcon
  • Sweden – HM King Carl XVI Gustaf 50th Anniversary Medal
  • Denmark – Knight with Collar of the Order of the Elephant
  • Finland – Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
  • Estonia – Collar of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana
  • Latvia – Commander Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of the Three Stars
  • United Kingdom – Honorary Freedom of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Belgium – Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold
  • Brazil – Grand Collar of the Order of the Southern Cross
  • Greece – The Royal House of Greece Centenary Medal
  • Hungary – Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
  • IOC – The Golden Olympic order
  • Japan – Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
  • Luxembourg – Grand Cross of the Order of Adolph of Nassau
  • Netherlands – Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
  • Poland – Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle
  • Spain – 1,192nd Knight and Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece (21 April 1995)

Trump and King Harald V

After Donald Trump was inaugurated on January 20, King Harald V sent a congratulatory statement. It read:

The Honorable

Donald J. Trump

President of the United States of America

The White House

Washington D.C.

Your Excellency,

On the occasion of your inauguration as President of the United States of America, I wish to extend my warmest congratulations and my best wishes to you personally and to your family, and my hopes for the welfare and prosperity of the American people.

Harald R

 

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