Harold I "Harefoot" was a son of King Canute of Denmark, England and Norway. His nickname came from his speed as a runner. Before Canute's death, Harold's older brother Sweyn was sent to govern Norway, and his younger half-brother Hardicanute spent most of his time in Denmark. When Canute died in 1035, the council of royal advisors originally decided that Harold and Hardicanute should co-rule England, but when two years passed and Hardicanute still hadn't come over to England from Denmark, the Council legally recognized what was already true in fact and made Harold sole ruler of England. Other than banishing Emma, his stepmother and Hardicanute's mother, from England, his reign was very uneventful. He died in 1040, probably at the age of 24, and Hardicanute succeeded him as king of England.

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