Gratulerer med dagen! Norway’s King Harald celebrates his 83rd Birthday on Friday, 21 February 2020.

King Harald V of Norway. Photo: Photo: Jørgen Gomnæs, The Royal Court

The only son of Olav V and King Harald – the first prince born in Norway in 567 years – was born on 21 February 1937 at Skaugum, the third child and only son of King Olav V and Princess Märtha of Sweden.

King Harald has two older sisters: Princess Ragnhild, Mrs Lorentzen (9 June 1930 – 16 September 2012) and Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner (born 12 February 1932).

harald v norway crown princess märtha
Prince Harald with his mother Crown Princess Märtha in 1937. Photo: National Library of Norway / Public domain

However, when he was three years old, his mother Crown Princess Märtha and her three children fled to Sweden when the Nazis invaded Norway in 1940, then spent most of the war years in the United States.

Harald’s grandfather, King Haakon VII, and father lived in London where they set up a government in exile.

Crown Prince Olav returned to Norway on 13 May 1945, and the rest of the Royal Family set foot on home soil on 7 June.

Many thousands of Norwegians welcomed the royal family home with tremendous cheers after five years of German occupation.

When King Haakon died on 21 September 1957, his father ruled as Olav V, and Harald became the Crown Prince and heir to the throne.

Crown Prince Harald, an avid sailor, represented Norway in the yachting events of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 1964, Mexico City in 1968, and Munich in 1972.

In 1964, the Crown Prince had the honour of carrying the Norwegian flag during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

He married Sonja Haraldsen in Oslo Cathedral on 29 August 1968, after a nine-year relationship.

Harald ascended the throne when his father died on 17 January 1991.

They have two children, Princess Märtha Louise (born 22 September 1971), and Crown Prince Haakon (born 20 July 1973), and have six grandchildren, including Princess Ingrid Alexandra who is currently second in the line of succession.

Queen Sonja and King Harald V at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Kirrabilli, on 24 February 2015. Photo: Carolyn M Cash

King Harald and Queen Sonja celebrated their Silver Jubilee in 2016 and their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 2018.

The Royal Couple will travel to Jordan from 2 to 4 March 2020 for an official visit.

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