arold was the son of Canute and his first wife Aelfgifu. When Canute died in November of 1035 Harathacanute was declared heir to the English throne. Harthacanute was also the son of Canute but by his second wife Emma. Harthacanute was in Denmark when Canute died and could not return to England because his claim to the (Danish/Norwegian ?) throne was being contested by Magnus I of Norway. Harthacanute appointed his mother Emma and Harold Harefoot as regents to look after the affairs of England.
Harthacanute was delayed from returning to England and a dispute between Emma and Harold began as to who should rule the country. The Earl Godwine sided with Harold and in 1036 Harold was proclaimed as sole Regent. At this point Emma called to her sons in Normandy for assistance. Albert, one of her sons arrived in England and was promptly murdered possibly by the Earl Godwine. Emma took refuge in Bruges. Harold died in March of 1040, and the death may not have been natural. In June of the same year, Harthacanute landed in England with a suitably large fleet and claimed back the English throne.