Norway's aging king discharged after heart surgery

FILE - In this Saturday, May 4, 2019 file photo, King Harald V of Norway and his wife Sonja leave the Notre Dame cathedral after attending at the funeral of the Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, in Luxembourg. Norways 83-year-old King Harald V was admitted to the main hospital in Oslo Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 to undergo an operation to replace a heart valve, the palace said. The surgery will not be an open heart operation, the palace said. The king will be awake, and the operation will be performed via the groin with local anesthesia. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File) (Francisco Seco, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

COPENHAGEN – King Harald V of Norway was discharged from the main hospital in Oslo on Monday after a successful operation to replace a heart valve.

“The king is in good shape,” the monarch's doctor, Bjoern Bendz, said after the surgery at the Rikshospitalet’s Cardiovascular and Lung Clinic.

The palace earlier had said that the intervention was necessary to improve the 83-year-old king’s breathing. Last month, the king was hospitalized with breathing difficulties. Doctors ruled out COVID-19.

Harald will be on sick leave this month, the palace said. His son and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Haakon, has stepped in and taken over his father’s duties.

In 2005, the king’s aortic valve was replaced by an artificial heart valve. Such valves have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years, the royal household had said.