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King Harald opens up in new book

Image from KongehusetA new book about King Harald and his career as a sailor shows that the sport has been a place for the king to relax, unwind and be himself. It's on the water where the king has been able to just be Harald. He doesn't want to be the king there," says author Jon Amtrup to VG. The book talks about a situation at sea where there was no hierarchy, but a place where everybody was equal and helped each other out.

The book - "King Harald V - the sailor who became one of the guys"- reveals several stories from the king's career as a sailor and at sea.

One of the more dramatic stories is from a regatta in Spain back in 2004, when the king was hit by a beam and passed out. Although he was hurt and bleeding, he refused to end the trip and leave the boat.

The king also shared stories with his other sailor friends, and opened up about how he felt about taking over as the king after his father, King Olav, passed away in 1991. The book talks about his decision to quit focusing on competitive sailing, and devote his full attention to his role as the new king of Norway.

"He was curious about how he would be received by the people, and opened up about some of this excitement with us," says Morten Jensen, one of the staff at the king's boat during the World Championship in Belgium in 1991.

Sailing also introduced King Harald to his future wife, Queen Sonja. They met at a summer camp organized by the Norwegian Sailing Organization at Hankø on the coast of Norway in 1951. At the time, the queen was only 14 years old. Eight years later they met again, and started seeing each other regularly.


Julie Ryland



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