Norway's hospitalized king gets pacemaker after falling ill during vacation

HELSINKI — King Harald of Norway was implanted with a temporary pacemaker Saturday at a hospital in Malaysia’s resort island of Langkawi, where Europe’s oldest monarch was being treated for an infection during a vacation this week, the Norwegian royal house said.

“The pacemaker was implanted due to a low heart rate,” the Royal House of Norway said in a brief statement, adding that the procedure was successful.

Following the operation, Harald, 87, would likely be transported back to Norway “within the next couple of days,” the statement said.

“His Majesty is doing well under the circumstances but still requires rest. The procedure will make the return back home safer, according to His Majesty The King’s personal physician, Bjørn Bendz,” the palace in Oslo said.

The royal house said on Tuesday that Harald, Europe’s oldest reigning monarch, was hospitalized after he fell ill during a private vacation in Langkawi. Norwegian media outlets said Harald traveled to the Malaysian resort island to celebrate his 87th birthday.

Two days before his birthday last week, Norwegian news agency NTB reported that the king was undertaking a private trip abroad together with his wife Queen Sonja, without specifying the destination or dates.

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