"I stick by what I’ve always said, that I swore an oath to the Storting (parliament), and it is for life," the monarch shared when asked if he had plans to abdicate his throne.
Like Great Britain's late Queen Elizabeth II, who died as her nation's monarch, Harald V is a firm believer in the ancient code of monarchy, which is to reign and serve your subjects as head of state for every second of your life. Harald V has frequently mentioned his intention to serve in his role indefinitely, which was also a contradictory frequent talking point of Denmark's now-former monarch through the years.
"It's always been: you stay as long as you live. That's what my father did and my predecessors. And the way I see it, too," the Queen stated in a 2016 interview. Her abdication will be the first for a Danish sovereign in nearly 900 years and leave the world with no reigning female monarch over any of its monarchies.
Harald V came to the Norwegian throne in January 1991 upon the death of his father, King Olav V. He is married to Queen Sonja, and his heir is Crown Prince Haakon.
The outspoken sovereign is currently Europe's oldest monarch at 86 but has been stricken with numerous health concerns related to his heart and lungs in addition to mobility problems. Haakon has served as the King's regent on numerous occasions, which is also an emergency reserve role in place in the British monarchy. Unlike Harald, Elizabeth II never needed to call a regency in favor of her heir, and simply delegated most of her public duties to her family as she became ill in 2021.
Although allegedly not in agreement with her decision, Harald V sent a message of congratulations to Denmark's new monarch, King Frederik X, and his consort, Queen Mary. "My family and I wish to convey our warmest congratulations to you as Denmark’s new King and Queen," he said while also praising the former monarch by adding: "Her Majesty Queen Margrethe has followed her country and her people through times of joy and sorrow with warmth, wisdom, and dedication."
He concluded: "Now it is your turn to carry the legacy forward, and follow Denmark into a new age."
GBN reported on Harald V's remarks.