Norwegian King Harald V taken to hospital

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Norway’s 83-year-old King Harald V has been admitted to the main hospital in Oslo with breathing difficulties, the Norwegian palace has said.

It added he has tested negative for coronavirus.

The palace said his son, Crown Prince Haakon, has stepped in and taken over his father’s duties, including a scheduled meeting with the Norwegian government.

The palace said in a later statement: “The king is now being examined. Covid-19 is already excluded.”

King Harald ascended the throne upon 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 by leading the mourning in 2011 for the victims of mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

In 2016, a speech by King Harald in support of gay rights and diversity attracted widespread international attention.

“Norwegians are girls who love girls, boys who love boys, and girls and boys who love each other,” he said.

The speech was shared tens of thousands of times on social media.

Earlier this year, Harald was briefly admitted to Rikshospitalet, the capital’s university hospital, after experiencing dizziness.

No serious illness was found but the monarch was on sick leave for two weeks.

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