The sometimes-controversial husband of the Queen Margrethe of Denmark died at Fredensborg Castle, late Tuesday, a statement from royal officials has confirmed.
“His Royal Highness Prince Henrik died peacefully in his sleep...,” the statement said. “Her Majesty the Queen and the two sons were at his side.”
Prince Henrik, who once remarked publicly that he was not the social equal of his wife or their heir to the throne, passed away at his residence. The unconventional French-born Danish royal was hospitalized after a trip to Egypt and diagnosed with a benign tumor only two weeks ago. The 83-years-old monarch's health had deteriorated after last year's dementia diagnosis.
Prince Henrik, though born into nobility, was generally uncomfortable with the lifestyle of the Danish monarchs. In the 1980s, he famously remarked that he wanted to receive a paycheck instead of relying on the queen. The law was subsequently amended to give him about 10 percent of the annual royal allocation.
“My wife has decided that she would like to be Queen, and I’m very pleased with that,” he said.“But as a person, she must know that if a man and a woman are married, then they are equal. My wife hasn’t shown me the respect an ordinary wife should show her spouse.”
Shortly before his death, he was moved back to the castle from a Copenhagen hospital. The monarch's release indicated that the prince had requested to be taken back to the royal residence to spend his last days. The queen and their two sons were at his side when he passed away.
In August, Prince Henrik scandalously remarked that he did not wish to be buried next to Queen Margrethe in the cathedral where the remains of all Danish royals have been laid for centuries.
“If she wants to bury me with her, she must make me a king consort,” he told Se og Hør. “Finished. I do not care.”
Whether his request will be honored is not yet known. But, the queen had previously commissioned a sarcophagus or stone coffin, for the duo, at Roskilde Cathedral in Denmark.
“She’s the one playing me for a fool. I didn’t marry The Queen to get buried at Roskilde,” he commented on the interment arrangement.
In a 2002 interview, the prince again stunned the people of Denmark, saying he felt he had been sidelined by his wife and his son. “For many years I have been No. 2,” Henrik told Danish tabloid B.T. “I have been satisfied with that role, but after so many years in Denmark I don’t suddenly want to become number three and become some kind of wearisome attachment.”
Prince Henrik is survived by his wife, sons Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim, and eight grandchildren. Henrik married Queen Margrethe II in June 1967 in Copenhagen.