February 21 – Happy Birthday, King Harald V

Posted on February 21, 2017

You probably know that many nations in the world have a king or queen or other monarch. Some of these modern-day monarchs are more for show, for tradition, for official ceremonial purposes, although some are actual rulers with power in governmental affairs. 

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a law-making parliament and a prime minister. The constitution actually gives the king some pretty important powers, but tradition and actual practice, for more than a century now, result in the elected government exercising those powers in the name of the king. The king doesn't actually play any direct role in the workings of the government.

Today is the birthday of Norway's current king, King Harald V. 

Harald and his family went into exile when Germany occupied Norway during World War II; Harald grew up partly in Sweden and in the U.S. because of this. Later, he attended college in the U.K. as well as in Norway.

Harald was such a good sailor, he represented Norway in sailing in three different Olympic Games (stretching over 12 years!).

Harald was the flag bearer for the Norwegian
Olympics Team in 1964. 

Of course, Norway is even better known for winter sports and even hosted the Winter Olympics twice -- in the capital of Oslo, in 1952, and in Lillehammer, in 1994.

Here are some photos of Norway in the winter:

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