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How did Harald Hardrada become the king of Norway in 1046?

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He bought it. His rise to glory began on the battlefield where his brother, Saint Olaf, was defeated by the lords of Norway. Harald had to flee for his life, eastward across the Baltic and upriver into the Kingdom of Kiev, stronghold of the Rus. read more

In 1046, Harald joined forces with Magnus's rival in Denmark (Magnus had also become king of Denmark), the pretender Sweyn II of Denmark, and started raiding the Danish coast. Magnus, unwilling to fight his uncle, agreed to share the kingship with Harald, since Harald in turn would share his wealth with him. read more

With the death of Magnus, in 1046, Harald became the new king. His reputation for crushing enemies and his continuous warfare in Denmark earned him the nickname ‘Hardrada’, Hard Ruler. Harald believed that, as the successor to the Danish kings, he also had a claim to the throne of England. read more

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