In his last romantic gesture for his beloved wife of 50 years, Prince Henrik of Denmark had it planned that the flowers at his funeral in Christiansborg Palace Church be organised as a “blooming garden” in a moving surprise for Queen Margrethe.
The “blooming garden” holds a special meaning for the couple. It was during Margrethe and Henrik’s wedding in June 1967 that the “blooming garden” was first mentioned. During his wedding speech, His Late Royal Highness stated, “I came from a country of flowers into a blossoming garden: Lilac and gold rain, elder and bonderose, flowers in parks, in fields and forests, flowers in the ditch edge. But the girl, however, was the garden’s single most beautiful adornment.”
The Royal Danish House explained on Instagram that it was one of Henrik’s final wishes to surprise Her Majesty, who was obviously moved as she walked into the church to see the arrangement, “It was Prince Henrik’s wish to surprise the Queen one last time. Therefore, wreaths and flowers were arranged as a ‘blooming garden’.”
Flowers played a central part of the church ceremony and mourning period. Christiansborg Palace Church was also decorated with colourful tulips around the pulpit. The Royal House later announced that the thousands of flowers that have been laid outside Amalienborg Palace and Fredensborg Palace by well-wishers would be taken to memorials for fallen Danish soldiers after the funeral. Those from these two palaces will be taken to Copenhagen’s former fortress Kastellet. The ones left at Marselisborg and Gråsten will be moved, but the location is not yet known.
Although it was a small, private funeral and foreign royals were not in attendance, with the obvious exception of King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece as Anne-Marie is Margrethe’s sister, several of the European royals sent wreaths to the funeral which were used as part of the garden decoration. Wreaths were spotted from King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden (the monogram could not be seen of Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill on the wreath, but it is believed it was from them as well), King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain, the children of King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie, and of course, numerous from the Danish Royal Family.
While Prince Henrik’s body was lying in state, over 19,000 people came to pay their last respects ahead of his funeral yesterday morning. He died peacefully in his sleep on 13 February at the age of 83.
You can read a timeline of the Queen and Prince’s love here.