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Norway king ill after meeting virus-positive minister

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway’s 84-year-old King Harald V will take a few days off with cold symptoms, the palace said Friday, a day after meeting with Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

The royal household said in a brief statement that “all necessary examinations and tests will be carried out,” and that his son and heir, Crown Prince Haakon, has taken over his father’s duties.

In a statement to the Norwegian news agency NTB, Huitfeldt said that “I sincerely hope that I have not infected King Harald, Queen Sonja or Crown Prince Haakon” and wished the monarch “good recovery.”

Harald has received three vaccine shots, although he's been ill several times in recent years, including in 2020 when he had an operation for a new heart valve.

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, on Jan. 17, 1991.

The country’s first native-born king since the 14th century, he married a commoner as a prince and won hearts in his egalitarian country by leading the mourning in 2011 for the victims of mass killer Anders Behring Breivik. ___

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The Associated Press