A plane believed to be carrying Norway39s king leaves Malaysia.com2F002Fd72F24bb52a9879af7ac6b86bc817f432F7783b31bba734cc8801a192c75963285

A plane believed to be carrying Norway's king leaves Malaysia, a day after he received a pacemaker

LANGKAWI, Malaysia (AP) — A plane believed to be carrying Norway's King Harald left Malaysia on Sunday, a day after he was implanted with a pacemaker.

Europe's oldest reigning monarch was hospitalized in Malaysia due to an infection while on a private holiday on the northern resort island of Langkawi, the royal family said on Tuesday.

According to the royal family, he underwent surgery at Sultanah Maliha Hospital on Saturday to implant a temporary pacemaker due to a low heart rate.

According to Norwegian media, Harald traveled to Malaysia with his wife, Queen Sonja, to celebrate his 87th birthday.

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

According to Flightradar24, the same plane took off from Langkawi on Sunday bound for Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates before continuing on to Norway.

The aging Norwegian monarch has suffered from poor health in recent years and has been hospitalized several times for treatment. Harald, who was seen using crutches, had to undergo surgery to replace a heart valve in October 2020 after being hospitalized with breathing difficulties.

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

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

The country's first native king since the 14th century, he married a commoner as a prince and won the hearts of his egalitarian country by leading the memorial service for the victims of mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik in 2011.