King Harald of Norway Didn't Get a Cell Phone Until 2020 — When He Was 83: 'It Only Took Me 40 Years'

He's not the only royal to embrace modern technology amid the COVID-19 pandemic

King Harald V
King Harald. Photo: Marcelo Hernandez/Getty

King Harald of Norway was late to the mobile phone party.

The monarch, 84, gave a speech during the annual Parliament dinner held at the Royal Palace in Oslo on Thursday, where he was greeted with laughs after revealing that he didn't switch from landline to cell phone until the ripe old age of 83!

"Many of us have probably needed up to several good wishes during the time we have left behind us," he said, according to Royal Central. "And if there is one thing we have really learned since March last year, it is the importance of modern technology to be able to get in touch with each other. Great was therefore the joy in my family when I got a mobile phone."

He added, "It only took me 40 years."

Unlike the monarch, Queen Sonja has kept up with emerging technology — she even has been spotted wearing an Apple Watch.

King Harald of Norway
Queen Sonja and King Harald. ERIK EDLAND/NTB SCANPIX/AFP via Getty

King Harald isn't the only monarch who has adapted new technology due to the coronavirus pandemic. Queen Elizabeth took part in her first public video call in June 2020 to salute unpaid caregivers alongside her daughter Princess Anne.

Chief executive of the Carers Trust Gareth Howells, who was on the virtual meeting, told PEOPLE that the Queen was "perfectly comfortable with the camera in front of her. A couple more times and she'll be a dab hand at it!"

The Queen, 95, has embraced the video meetings, even holding virtual audiences at Buckingham Palace ... from 20 miles away at Windsor Castle.

That's not to say that the Queen hasn't had her hiccups over video calls. Earlier this month, the monarch spoke with Dame Cindy Kiro ahead of her swearing in as the Governor General of New Zealand.

"Ah, there you are!" the Queen said with a bit of surprise as Kiro popped up on the screen.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

The time difference also caused a moment of confusion.

"Good evening," the Queen said, only to be reminded that it was morning in New Zealand.

"Oh, of course, it's 'Good morning' isn't it to you?" self-corrected the monarch from a room in Windsor Castle.

Related Articles