King Harald V of Norway: Life, Reign, and Achievements

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Brdo pri Kranju, Grad Brdo. Drzavniski obisk norveskega kralja Haralda V. in kraljice Sonje. Fototermin predsedniskega para in norveskega kraljevskega para. Norveska kraljica Sonja, Harald V., predsednik republike Danilo Türk ter soproga Barbara Miklic Türk. Foto: Daniel Novakovic/STA

King Harald V is the current monarch of Norway and has been on the throne since 1991. Born on February 21, 1937, he is the son of King Olav V and Princess Märtha of Sweden. As the head of the Norwegian royal family, King Harald V is not only a symbolic figurehead but also plays an important role in Norway’s political system.

While King Harald V’s personal wealth is not publicly disclosed, it is estimated that the Norwegian royal family has a net worth of around $30 million, much of which comes from the state’s annual allocation to the royal family for expenses related to official duties and maintaining the royal residences.

King Harald V was born at Skaugum Palace in Asker, Norway, and spent much of his childhood there. He attended schools in Norway, the UK, and Canada before enrolling at the Norwegian Military Academy in 1955. He subsequently served in the Norwegian armed forces and saw active duty in the Navy.

In 1968, King Harald V married Sonja Haraldsen, a commoner and former waitress. The couple has two children: Princess Märtha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon. Crown Prince Haakon is next in line to the throne and will become Norway’s next king upon King Harald V’s abdication.

King Harald V ascended to the throne in 1991 following the death of his father, King Olav V. Since then, he has been a popular and respected figure in Norway, known for his dedication to public service and his commitment to promoting Norwegian culture and heritage.

Throughout his reign, King Harald V has traveled extensively both within Norway and abroad, representing Norway at official functions and fostering relationships with other countries. He has also been a vocal advocate for environmental conservation and sustainability.

In addition to his official duties as king, King Harald V is an accomplished sailor and has represented Norway in international sailing competitions. He is also an avid sports fan and supports several Norwegian sports teams.

Overall, King Harald V has had a long and successful reign as king of Norway, earning widespread admiration and respect from his people and others around the world. His dedication to public service and his commitment to promoting Norwegian culture and heritage have helped to make him a beloved figure in Norway and beyond.

1150: President Bush, Laura Bush: Arrival of King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway. South Portico.


  • 1937: King Harald V is born on February 21 at Skaugum Palace in Asker, Norway.
  • 1955: King Harald V enrolls at the Norwegian Military Academy.
  • 1957-59: King Harald V studies at Balliol College at Oxford University in the UK.
  • 1960: King Harald V completes his military service in the Norwegian Navy.
  • 1968: King Harald V marries Sonja Haraldsen.
  • 1991: King Harald V ascends to the throne following the death of his father, King Olav V.
  • 1994: King Harald V and Queen Sonja are the first Norwegian monarchs to visit Russia in over 70 years.
  • 1998: King Harald V represents Norway at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
  • 2005: King Harald V celebrates his 25th anniversary on the throne.
  • 2011: King Harald V and Queen Sonja visit the United States, meeting with President Barack Obama.
  • 2016: King Harald V celebrates his 25th year as king with a series of events throughout Norway.
  • 2017: King Harald V undergoes successful heart surgery.
  • 2020: King Harald V gives a rare televised address in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, urging unity and solidarity.

This timeline highlights some of the major milestones in King Harald V’s life, from his education and military service to his marriage, ascension to the throne, and various official visits and events throughout his long reign.

Sámediggi – Sametinget, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

5 Interesting Facts

  1. King Harald V is a trained sailor and has competed in several international sailing competitions, including the Olympics.
  2. As a child, King Harald V lived in exile during World War II with his family in Washington, D.C. and Canada.
  3. King Harald V is the first Norwegian monarch to have been born in Norway since the 14th century.
  4. King Harald V is an advocate for environmental conservation and has been actively involved in promoting sustainable practices in Norway.
  5. King Harald V is an accomplished artist and has exhibited his works in several galleries in Norway.

5 Top Quotes

  1. “It is important to appreciate that the challenges we face are not exclusively national but global, and that solutions must be sought through international cooperation and solidarity.”
  2. “Our democracy is based on the premise of freedom of speech, and it is a value that we must all strive to uphold and protect.”
  3. “The sea has always been an important part of Norway’s history and identity, and it is vital that we continue to protect it for future generations.”
  4. “Norway has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and it is important that we celebrate and preserve this legacy.”
  5. “As monarch, I am committed to serving the people of Norway and upholding the values that make our country strong and prosperous.”

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