King Harald leaves Rikshospitalet in Oslo, where he has been...

King Harald leaves Rikshospitalet in Oslo, where he has been hospitalized and implanted a pacemaker, Thursday, March 14, 2024. Credit: AP/Rodrigo Freitas

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Europe’s oldest monarch, King Harald V of Norway, has been discharged from the Oslo hospital where he received a permanent pacemaker earlier this week, the palace said Thursday.

The 87-year-old monarch “is doing well” and is on sick leave until April 8, the royal household said in a brief statement. His 50-year-old son, Crown Prince Haakan, is assuming the king's duties.

The monarch underwent the pacemaker implant procedure at Oslo’s university hospital on Tuesday.

Last month, Harald fell ill during a private holiday with his wife Queen Sonja on the Malaysian resort island of Langkawi. He underwent surgery there and received a temporary pacemaker due to a low heart rate.

Harald returned to Norway aboard a medical airplane and was immediately transferred to an Oslo hospital. The king’s doctor, Bjørn Bendz, said this week that he had contracted an undetermined infection in Malaysia.

The monarch has been in frail health in recent years with numerous hospital stays. He had an operation to replace a heart valve in October 2020 after being hospitalized with breathing difficulties.

Harald repeatedly has said he has no plans to abdicate, unlike his second cousin Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, who stepped down earlier this year.

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, in 1991.

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