The plane believed to be carrying the King of Norway leaves Malaysia, a day after he received a pacemaker

LANGKAWI, Malaysia – A plane believed to be carrying Norwegian King Harald left Malaysia on Sunday, a day after a pacemaker was implanted in his body.

The Royal Palace announced on Tuesday that Europe's oldest monarch was hospitalized in Malaysia after contracting an infection during a private holiday in the northern resort of Langkawi.

He underwent surgery at Sultana Maliha Hospital, on Saturday, to implant a temporary pacemaker, due to a low heart rate, according to what the Royal House reported.

Norwegian media said that Harald traveled to Malaysia with his wife, Queen Sonja, to celebrate his eighty-seventh birthday.

A Scandinavian Airlines medical evacuation plane, which took off from Oslo on Thursday, arrived in Langkawi on Friday. The Boeing 737-700 was previously used as a flying ambulance.

According to the Flightradar24 website, the same plane departed from Langkawi on Sunday, heading to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, before it was scheduled to travel to Norway.

The elderly Norwegian monarch has suffered from poor health over the past few years, and has been admitted to hospital for treatment on numerous occasions. Harald, who was seen using crutches, underwent heart valve replacement surgery in October 2020 after being hospitalized with breathing difficulties.

Harald has repeatedly said he has no intention of abdicating, unlike his second cousin, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, who stepped down earlier this year. The heir to the Norwegian throne, Crown Prince Haakon, stepped in and took over his father's duties while he was in hospital.

Harald's duties as head of state of Norway are ceremonial and he has no political power. He assumed the throne after the death of his father, King Olav, in 1991.

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

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