King Harald celebrates 25 years

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King Harald celebrates 25 years on the throne:

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of King Harald of Norway’s reign a series of official pictures have been released. On 17 January 1991 Harald V succeeded his father, Olav V. As a scion of the House of Glucksburg, King Harald is closely related to other European monarchs. He is a first cousin once removed of King Philippe of Belgium and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. a second cousin of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Elizabeth II, and a second cousin once removed of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

King Harald’s silver jubilee as monarch is being marked with memorial services and numerous activities for young and old. King Harald and Queen Sonja asked for the main celebrations to be winter games at Slottsplassen (Palace Square), Oslo, giving children the chance to have a go at cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, ice slides and a biathlon event with laser guns. Royal Palace communications manager Marianne Hagen explained: “This is a celebration in the spirit of the Royal Family, and it has been wonderful to get a taste of it now that snow has covered Slottsplassen and children are playing out there.”

On a personal and poignant note King Harald recalled, during a TV interview, how he learned of his father’s death in 1991. “He had been ill for some time. So we were somewhat prepared but you are never truly prepared to lose your father . . .” King Olav died of a heart attack at 10.20pm on 17 January 1991, the day that Operation Desert Storm began in Iraq. King Harald revealed that his father “was the first casualty of war, because he had his heart attack while he watched it on TV. He was quite convinced that World War 3 had broken out and he wanted no part in it.”