Reluctant Consort to Denmark’s Queen, Prince Henrik Dies at 83

Reluctant Consort to Denmark’s Queen, Prince Henrik Dies at 83

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Prince Henrik suffers from dementia
Filer from 2014 shows Danish Prince Consort Henrik. The Danish Royal House states in a press release September 6, 2017 that Prince Henrik suffers from dementia. Scanpix Denmark/Keld Navntoft/via REUTERS

By Emil Gjerding Nielson and Teis Jensen
COPENHAGEN (Reuters)

Denmark’s Prince Henrik has died at 83, taking to the grave his resentment at playing second fiddle to his wife, Queen Margrethe

The 83-year-old French-born prince died in his sleep late on Tuesday, the palace said, adding that it would respect his wish not to be buried in a tomb prepared for him and Margrethe who he said had never acknowledged him as her equal.

 

Prince Henrik suffers from dementia
Filer from 2017 showing Danish Queen Margrethe and her husband prince Henrik. The Danish Royal House states in a press release September 6, 2017 that Prince Henrik suffers from dementia. Scanpix Denmark/ Henning Bagger/via REUTERS

 

Resenting never being named king, in 2016, he renounced the title of prince consort and spent much of his time at a chateau on a vineyard in southwestern France, although he remained married to the queen and officially still lived with her.

 

Marselisborg Palace is seen after the announcement of Prince Henrik's death, in Aarhus
Marselisborg Palace is seen after the announcement of Prince Henrik’s death, in Aarhus, Denmark, February 14, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix Denmark/Henning Bagger via REUTERS

 

In August 2017, Henrik announced he did not wish to be buried next to the queen, breaking a 459-year-old tradition. Shortly afterwards, the palace announced he had dementia.

As in most monarchies, a Danish princess becomes queen when her husband takes the throne, but a man does not become king through being married to a queen.

 

Flowers are seen at Marselisborg Palace after the announcement of Prince Henrik's death, in Aarhus
Flowers are seen at Marselisborg Palace after the announcement of Prince Henrik’s death, in Aarhus, Denmark, February 14, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix Denmark/Henning Bagger via REUTERS

 

After a 2009 Danish referendum supported sexual equality in royal successions, Henrik said: “I hope that men will be as equal as girls,” spurring further debate and briefly finding support in parliament in favour of granting him the title of king, a movement that came to nothing.

 

Flowers are seen at Amalienborg Palace after the announcement of Prince Henrik's death, in Copenhagen
Flowers are seen at Amalienborg Palace after the announcement of Prince Henrik’s death, in Copenhagen, Denmark, February 14, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix Denmark/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS

 

In accordance with his wishes, rather than being buried at a sarcophagus prepared for him and his wife in Roskilde Cathedral, Henrik’s body will be cremated and half of the ashes scattered in Danish waters and half buried in the garden of Fredensborg Castle, north of Copenhagen, where he died.

 

Flowers are seen at Amalienborg Palace after the announcement of Prince Henrik's death, in Fredensborg
Flowers are seen at Amalienborg Palace after the announcement of Prince Henrik’s death, in Fredensborg, Denmark, February 14, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix Denmark/Liselotte Sabroe via REUTERS

 

Born Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat in France in 1934, Henrik married Margrethe in 1967. They have two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim.

Both loved and criticized by the Danes for his aristocratic manner, exemplified by his colourful clothes and thick French accent, in recent years Henrik found support particularly amongst the Danish youth for breaking with Danish norms.

 

 

Known for his love of wine and food, the prince also wrote poetry, made sculptures and published cookery books.

He was diagnosed with a benign tumor two weeks ago and was later transferred from a Copenhagen hospital to Fredensborg Castle, where he had wanted to spend his last moments.

The funeral service will be a ceremony for his family at Christiansborg Slotskirke in Copenhagen on Feb. 20.

 

(Writing by Teis Jensen; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

 

The flag on half staff is seen at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen
The flag on half staff is seen at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark February, 14 2018. Prince Henrik died at Fredensborg Palace on February 13, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix Denmark/via REUTERS

 

The flag at half staff is seen at Amalienborg Palace after the announcement of Prince Henrik's death, in Copenhagen
The flag at half staff is seen at Amalienborg Palace after the announcement of Prince Henrik’s death, in Copenhagen, Denmark, February 14, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix Denmark/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS

 

Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark, attends a centennial celebration in Solvang
Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark, attends a centennial celebration in Solvang, California June 11, 2011. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

 

The flag on half staff is seen at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen
The flag on half staff is seen at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark February, 14 2018. Prince Henrik died at Fredensborg Palace on February 13, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix Denmark/via REUTERS

 

The flag on half staff is seen at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen
The flag on half staff is seen at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark February, 14 2018. Prince Henrik died at Fredensborg Palace on February 13, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix Denmark/via REUTERS

 

The hearse arrives to Fredensborg Palace in Fredensborg
The hearse arrives to Fredensborg Palace in Fredensborg, Denmark February, 14 2018. Prince Henrik died at Fredensborg Palace on February 13, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix Denmark/via REUTERS