When the Royal Danish House announced late last week that Prince Henrik did not wish to be buried next to his wife, Queen Margrethe, he drew global condemnation, and a poll of Danish television viewers echoed this sentiment.
According to TV2, 54 percent of respondents were unhappy with the Prince’s statement.
“A surprisingly large number,” commented Lars Hovbakke Sørensen. “The society is usually more divided and has always accepted the Prince’s prank[s].”
Among Prince Henrik’s ‘pranks’: fleeing to his chateau in France in 2002 after his son – and first in line to the Danish throne – had been appointed the host of a New Year’s Day event in the Queen’s absence; interrupting his wife during a television interview when she’d been talking about a terrorist attack to complain that he’d never been proclaimed king; and not attending his wife’s 75th birthday celebrations due to ill health but then being spotted in Venice seemingly fine.
Women condemned Prince Henrik’s antics with 63 percent disapproving his move, and elderly people disapproved at 64 percent.
“Apart from duties as a Prince of Denmark, he also has duties as a spouse,” said Sørensen.
The elderly respondents, he said, “are aware of the traditions and attach to it.”
The Royal Danish House Director of Communications, Lene Balleby, said last week that, “For the Prince, the decision not to be buried beside the Queen is the natural consequence of not having been treated equally to his spouse – by not having the title and role he has desired.”
Prince Henrik is, of course, sore at the fact that he was never named king. The title of a king automatically outranks that of queen – and kings are born, not made – so when a queen regent marries, her husband does not take the title. When a king marries, his wife takes the title of queen, but she is a queen consort and not a queen regent.
It was further announced that His Royal Highness would be buried in Denmark when he dies, just not in Roskilde Cathedral, where Danish monarchs and their consorts have been buried since the 15th century.
Queen Margrethe is said to be okay with her husband’s decision. An elegantly designed sarcophagus had been developed for the royal couple, but it remains to be seen if the Queen will rest there by herself or in a different sarcophagus designed for one.
Prince Joachim, the younger son of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik, spoke briefly to reporters at the opening of the Copenhagen Grand Prix, saying, “This is not news for us in the family. We have been aware of it for a long time, and I think it has been said. We have all been aware of it, and therefore there is no more to say about it.”
In other consort news, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s long-serving consort retired this week after 70 years of service to Queen and Country – never once complaining about not being made king.
Click here to read Royal Central’s Editor Charlie Proctor talk about Prince Henrik and his “embarrassment to constitutional monarchy.”