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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:

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