Following the news that Prince Henrik of Denmark has died peacefully in his sleep, we want to take a look back at the timeline of his love with Queen Margrethe. This was a love that survived difficult times, but the strength of their relationship and love for one another was stronger than any controversy. The couple were able to spend 50 wonderful years together as husband and wife. Let’s take a look at their love story.
When she was just Princess Margrethe of Denmark, the future monarch attended a dinner party in London where she had no clue that she would meet the love of her life. It was a spring evening in 1965 when she first met Henri de Monpezat, who was working in London at the time as the Embassy Secretary at the French Embassy. Margrethe was also residing in London as she was attending the London School of Economics.
The Queen admitted later that, at first, he did not make a significant impression on her. In her biography by Anne Wolden-Ræthinge, she said, “But apart from the fact that I found him very likeable, I did not really take much notice of Henri de Monpezat. He was just a young man I met occasionally, and in fact, I believe it was he who noticed me, and not the other way round.”
The pair met again a year later in Scotland at a wedding where they were able to get to know each other better. As they left Scotland, they sat together and met again in London not long after, as Henrik had declared on their trip home, “I have to see you again.” They had dinner together at the Four Hundred Club, and Margrethe admitted she fell for him right then.
In his autobiography, Prince Henrik said he was instantly attracted to her and stated, “I went so far to let her understand that I was in love with her. She had already understood it. Then I declared without warning that I loved her. That statement she loved.”
They dated for a few months going to places like Hyde Park and lively London’s nightlife. To keep it hidden from the press, they would call one another under different names and correspond and meet through friends.
Henri and Margrethe became engaged in October 1966 after Henri proposed in Margrethe’s close friend, Wava Armfelt’s apartment. Even though Henri’s father did not approve, a wedding at Holmens Kirke took place on 10 June 1967 with a reception banquet at Fredensborg Palace. Upon his marriage, Henri changed the spelling of his name to the Danish “Henrik” and converted to Lutheranism from Roman Catholicism. They went on their honeymoon to Cozumel, Mexico, and upon their return, they moved into Christian IX’s Palace of the Amalienborg Palace complex.
Together, Margrethe and Henrik had two sons: Crown Prince Frederik (b. 26 May 1968) and Prince Joachim (b. 7 June 1969). They would go on to have eight grandchildren, as well – Princes Christian and Vincent and Princesses Isabella and Josephine through Crown Prince Frederik as well as Princes Nikolai, Felix and Henrik and Princess Athena through Prince Joachim.
About their relationship, Crown Prince Frederik once said, “They are like two puzzle pieces that have been cut perfectly, so they matched each other.”
Their relationship was not without its low point as Henrik often complained of not being Margrethe’s equal. He desired to be named “King Consort” instead of the title “Prince Consort” he was given. As a result, in 2017, it was announced that he did not want to be buried with his wife, but at the same time, he expressed that he loved her dearly.
Over the years, Henrik dedicated many of his poems to his beloved wife. In 2017, the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and the Royal Danish House released two photos of them taken on the royal yacht, Dannebrog, in celebration. The couple also bought each other a sculpture “Miss Fredensborg” that was put in the gardens of Frendensborg Palace; Henrik was the designer.
As couples take vows of “til death do us part” during their wedding ceremony, that held true for Margrethe and Henrik. Margrethe was there with him to the very end.