Norway king ill after meeting virus-positive minister

Norway’s 84-year-old King Harald V will take a few days off because of cold symptoms, a day after meeting with Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt who tested positive for COVID-19

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Norway’s 84-year-old King Harald V will take a few days off with cold symptoms, the palace said Friday, a day after meeting with Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

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

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

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

Harald's 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 Jan. 17, 1991.

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