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Prince Henrik of Denmark – an embarrassment to constitutional monarchy

Charlie Proctor offers his opinion on why Prince Henrik of Denmark needs to stop behaving so petulantly when it comes to his title.

Prince Henrik of Denmark has made the headlines yet again after the Danish Royal Court announced on Thursday that he refuses to be buried alongside his wife, Queen Margrethe, over nothing more than a case of sour grapes. The 83-year-old Prince is not happy that he is not King of Denmark by virtue of marriage, so has decided to be buried away from Roskilde Cathedral, which will be his wife’s final resting place.

Of course, poor Prince Henrik has been dealt all the wrong cards in life. The poor dear was born into a wealthy family and married the future Queen of Denmark. Life must have been tough for Henrik, being merely a Prince Consort. As I write this article, I am playing the world’s saddest song on the world’s tiniest violin. My heart truly bleeds.

Let us be clear for the avoidance of doubt, the rank of King automatically outranks the title of Queen, hence it is not possible for Henrik to be afforded this title as he will exceed his wife who inherited the throne. In other countries where the King is Monarch, their spouses are provided with the title of Queen Consort. This is because, as previously mentioned, no title comes higher than that of a King, so their partner will not outrank him.

Is this unfair on male consorts? Maybe it is! But get over it. Prince Henrik had known the arrangments of the constitution before he married Her Majesty. If the matter bothered him so much, he shouldn’t have married into The Royal Family.

Writing on her blog Royal Musings, historian and author Marlene Eilers Koenig agrees, writing: “I am going to say this straight out:  Prince Henrik is a pompous and petulant old man with little regard or appreciation for his wife, who happens to be the Sovereign, the head of state, of Denmark, or his son, Crown Prince Frederik, the heir apparent.”

She adds that Henrik should look overseas at the Duke of Edinburgh and should follow his example. She writes: “Seriously, Henrik,  do you dislike your wife so much that you do not wish to be buried with her because you cannot have the title king?  Time to stop the petulance.   Take a look across the North Sea to the United Kingdom, and how the Duke of Edinburgh, consort of Queen Elizabeth II, has handled being a Prince without the official title of Prince Consort.  Did you follow the news yesterday of the dignified retirement? Talk about service to one’s country and one’s sovereign.”

The comparison between Prince Henrik and Prince Philip is stark. The Duke of Edinburgh has retired at the age of 96 after a lifetime of service to the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and most importantly to The Queen. Whether you are a monarchist or a republican, one has to admire the way the Duke of Edinburgh has conducted himself in that time. Never once has he complained about being “Number 2” to a woman! Prince Henrik, on the other hand, seems to bring the matter up at every available opportunity.

There is no doubt that before his retirement, Prince Henrik did a lot for Denmark in the form of various engagements and patronages. However, speaking as somebody who lives in the UK, the 83-year-old is not known for the work he has done. Rather, he is known for being the opposite of Prince Philip – a whining old man. His title is clearly worth so much more than his marriage.

Do you agree with Charlie Proctor, or do you think his comments are unduly harsh and that Prince Henrik has been discriminated against? Let us know by commenting below:

  • Orchard 10

    This petulant, childish Man. who has insulted the Danish Crown, his Wife, and [by extension] the nation in which he has lived [at Denmark’s expense] all these years. should not be buried in Danish soil at all, but moulder [in obscurity] in France for EVERMORE…

    • Elizabeth Pease

      He’s not a ‘man’, but a spoiled brat in an 83- year old human’s body. I think he should be given a burial at sea , like Lord Mountbatten’s wife was, and when his coffin rots, every fish in the sea can have a nibble at him.

  • Ipsi

    Goodness, what a petty thing to be upset about. You really don’t want to be buried next to your wife for this?

  • Jan Wheeler Lachowycz

    I do agree with Mr Proctor on this matter. The Prince certainly knew before he married HM that the most he could hope for would be to be titled Prince Consort. I don’t know of any place in our world where the husband receives his ranking or title from his wife. Henrik is being a big baby and needs pull up his big boy pants and move on.

    • M Alexander

      Things are rapidly changing in the world where equality means that husbands CAN and do receive rankings or titles by virtue of marrying a titled lady. In Spain for instance, the two husbands of the Infantas received the title of Duke (which were both revoked as well for different reasons)
      The husband of Crown Princess Victoria not only received the title of Prince of Sweden now in his own right but also the the title of Duke of the same title she holds – though this was not the case with Princess Madeline’s husband – on his request.
      Henrik seem not to have understood that to be titled as King would have meant he out-ranked every Queen – Regnant or Consort and Denmark does not have the tradition of King-Consort, very few kingdoms ever did though it did occur a couple of times in Europe but many years ago.

  • Cruz Segundo

    Henrik is still a child who is still enjoying life despite the real responsibilities but first is the FAMILY ..

  • RoyalAustralia

    Absolutely unbelievable. Mr Proctor is correct.

    • Vaughan Williams

      Bravo!!Mr.Proctor God save the Queen.

  • Pracilla Hay

    Send his dead body back to France. So proud of our Prince Philip and his support of our Queen.

  • M Alexander

    I remember years ago when in a fit of anger at being told Prince Henrik could not officiate in an official capacity for the Queen and that he had to defer to his son the Crown Prince, he left the country altogether – went to their vacation home in the South of France and had to literally be brought back to Copenhagen by Margrethe II.

    Essentially, I think Henrik was probably waiting for the title of King Consort – rather than King and there is some precedence in Portugal for instance when Queen Maria II bestowed this title on her Husband who became Ferdinand II upon the birth of their Son Pedro. His reign came to an end with her death and she did die many years before him.

    It is unfortunate that he has made such an issue of this and perhaps dis and still does not understand that this is simply not the tradition in Denmark and that his wife only acquired the right to succeed her father as a woman in 1953 when the constitution was changed in order to facilitate this.

    I’m sure Margrethe II isn’t happy with his wish to be buried separately from her but ultimately it may be those who he leaves behind as to whether this is carried out or they over-ride his decision in the name of protocol and taking into consideration that it may also be practical to have both resting together.

    It is also unfortunate that this disclosure is made just weeks after the Royal couple celebrated their golden or 50th wedding anniversary – I can imagine this is embarrassing to the Queen – Prince Henrik seems oblivious to the criticism and to the legacy of shame he leaves the next Danish King, his son.

  • Lotte Aagesen

    Completely agree!
    We Danes are very angry, that he has so little affection for his wife as to embaress her and humiliate her like that.
    Noone cares one bit, where he will be buried – så he only hurts his wife, her Majesty!

    The Queen’s popularity and the monarchy is the same – it will not be less because of him.
    But he causes his wife pain!

    Self-centered, whining, wengefull old man!

  • Lotte Aagesen

    They said he was a diplomat, when he first met Princess Margrethe ………

    Excuse me….. DIPLOMAT…..????

  • Daisymay

    I wonder how long ago the sarcophagus was commissioned ?he obviously agreed to it being a double one then ! That shows you how irresponsible he is what a waste of money that will be if they have to make another..a wooden box will be fine for him.

  • Barry Sheard

    Off with his head

  • Howard T

    As a Brit I know little about this miserable excuse for a prince let alone consort to a much loved and greatly respected Sovereign Queen. Our own Prince Philip has had his share of critics over the 60 years of his marriage to our beloved Queen Elizabeth, but noone could ever accuse him of failing in his duties or his unswerving loyalty to Her Majesty. That his churlishness could hurt Queen Margrethe is so sad as she has always impressed me with her kind, generous way and that twinkle of good humour in her eye.

  • jd.xy

    spot on

  • Frank Van Der Heijden

    First world problems….they are all leeches

  • Juniper

    Haven’t they been married for decades? Why is this coming up now?

  • MrsWhit

    Perhaps a translation issue, but he comes across as tremendously sexist. The respect a wife MUST give her husband? I feel a lot of empathy for Margrethe, and marvel at her composure given all his provocation. Personally, the best way to solve this is to call the Sovereign the Sovereign and leave King and Queen out of it. Alternatively, no titles at all for this puffed up twit- other than the ones he pretended to before his marriage. He has no idea how lucky he is to be married to such a kind, patient and apparently loving woman.

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