|When King Olav died on 17 January 1991, he was succeeded by Crown Prince Harald, the first Norwegian-born prince in 567 years. His parents already had two daughters, princesses Ragnhild and Astrid, but under the Norwegian Constitution neither of them could succeed to the throne. Thus, the birth of Prince Harald ensured the line of succession.
Prince Harald spent the first three years of his life in peaceful surroundings at Skaugum, but this was shattered by the German invasion of Norway on 9 April 1940. The Royal family, the government and the Storting fled in haste from Oslo. At Elverum, Crown Prince Olav parted from his family. Crown Princess Martha and the three children crossed safely into Sweden and a few months later travelled on to the USA. King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav stayed with the government in London. Crown Prince Olav returned to Norway on 13 May 1945, and was joined by his family and King Haakon on 7 June. They were met by jubilant crowds.
Prince Harald attended Smestad Primary School in Oslo. Other than the presence of a security guard, there was little to distinguish his schooling from that of other children. The King and Queen wanted the prince to have a normal upbringing in tune with the times. He went on to Oslo Cathedral School and took his final exams there in 1955. He then enrolled in the Cavalry Officers' Training School and, after a compulsory term of duty, went to England to study in 1960.
In March 1968, it was announced that King Olav had given his consent to the marriage of Prince Harald and Sonja Haraldsen from Oslo. The couple had then known each other for nine years. They were married in Oslo Cathedral on 29 August 1968.
When King Olav fell ill in spring 1990, his functions as head of State were taken over by the Crown Prince Regent. As king, Harald adopted the same motto as his father and grandfather "All for Norway". Four days after his father's death, he pledged his allegiance to the Constitution. On 23 June the same year and at his own wish, King Harald was consecrated in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. After the consecration, the King and Queen made a 10-day tour of the southern half of Norway and the following year they completed the tour in the four most northerly counties.
King Harald is very interested in sport and outdoor life. He has made a name for himself in a number of national and international sailing events. In 1987, he won the world championship with his one-tonner, "Fram".