Queen Sonja on crutches
Queen Sonja has undergone another operation on her left foot, her fourth such surgery in as many years. She was quickly back on the job, however, appearing on crutches Wednesday evening for the opening of the World Carillion Congress in Oslo's City Hall.
The queen, an active hiker and skier for many years, has been plagued by pain in both feet since the late 1990s. She underwent fairly major surgery on her left foot four years ago and was on crutches for six weeks that time.
A year later doctors operated on her right foot and she was off work for three months, only to undergo a "corrective" operation on the same foot six months later.
Now it's her left foot that apparently has been bothering her this past spring, but she never let on that she was in pain. She attended royal weddings in Denmark and Spain, walked up to the Acropolis in Athens during a state visit earlier this month and also undertook several other official trips, with the only hint being her use of wide shoes without high heels.
She underwent surgery at Norway's National Hospital (Rikshospitalet) Friday after a week of public appearances. She nonetheless was on hand Wednesday for the World Carillion Congress, and planned to travel to Førde Thursday for an international folk music festival.
But now summer holidays loom. It's expected she'll spend her 67th birthday Sunday at her family's summer home at Mågerø, south of Oslo, which generally serves as the royal family's summer holiday base.
King Harald, meanwhile, is due to sail in regattas in Spain both this month and next. He's already taken off on summer holiday, because Crown Prince Haakon is scheduled to lead this week's Council of State on Friday.
Queen Sonja arrived for a public appearance on crutches Wednesday evening. To the right is Oslo Mayor Per Ditlev-Simonsen.