King: Harald V
Crown Prince Harald became king on the death of his father Olav V in 1991. Born in 1937, he fled with his mother and siblings to the United States after the German invasion of Norway in 1940, while his father and grandfather, the then King Haakon VII, joined the government in exile in London.
The royal family returned to Norway at the end of the war, and Prince Harald went on to study at the University of Oslo, the Norwegian Military Academy and Oxford University.
Like his father and grandfather, King Harald is a keen sportsman, and represented Norway with distinction as a yachtsman at various international events, including the Tokyo, Mexico and Munich Olympics.
He caused some controversy by insisting on marrying a commoner, contrary to the tradition of marrying a royal princess. He and Queen Sonja have two children, Princess Martha Louise and Crown Prine Haakon.
The king has clearly defined constitutional duties. Apart from being head of the armed forces and Church of Norway, he chairs the Council of State once a week. He appoints the government according to which party commands the largest number of seats in parliament, or else on the advice of the head of parliament and the prime minister of the day.
King Harald has cotinued the royal family's tradition of of unpretentious public duty, and serves as a symbol of the country's strong sense of national identity.
Prime minister: Jens Stoltenberg
Labour Party leader Jens Stoltenberg took office as prime minister in a centre-left "red-green" alliance with the Socialist and Centre parties in October 2005, replacing a centre-right government.
His coalition narrowly retained its majority in the 2009 election, becoming the first Norwegian government to win a second consecutive term in 16 years.
The government's position was helped by the fact that oil-rich Norway was largely unscathed by the 2008 financial crisis. At the time of the 2009 election, the unemployment rate was 3% - among the lowest in Europe.
Mr Stoltenberg won power on promises to increase spending on education, health and welfare, and to reverse the tax cuts proposed by the previous administration. He vowed that the budget policy would abide by Norway's strict rules on spending oil revenues.
He also gave his backing to limited oil exploration in the Arctic.
His government withdrew Norway's very small contingent of troops from Iraq but promised to increase the country's profile in UN peacekeeping operations elsewhere.
Mr Stoltenberg, an economist, was 46 when he took office. He was prime minister for the first time from 2000 until 2001.