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Prince Joachim talks about his father’s dementia diagnosis

The Danish Royal Family has created many headlines this summer and autumn, especially Prince Henrik, the husband of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II. First, the Prince said he did not want to be buried together with his wife, the Queen; he later criticised his wife and said that Denmark’s Queen treated him like a fool. It recently became known that Prince Henrik suffers from dementia.

His Royal Highness Prince Joachim is now the first from the family to talk to the media about his father’s diagnosis. Prince Joachim is the younger son of Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe.

Prince Henrik with his wife, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Photo: Holger Motzkau via Wikimedia Commons.

The Prince was hunting at Klampenborg in Denmark when the media asked him if he could comment on Prince Henrik’s diagnosis. To the Danish magazine Se og Hør, the Prince said about his father’s illness: “In our family, it is not the case that you can keep things inside you and not talk about problems like this. We must share our father’s disease with the press and the whole world. Therefore, we try to cope with the situation to the best of our ability.”

Beyond this, the Prince did not want to talk more about his father’s sickness.

Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik onboard the royal yacht to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. Photo: © Kongehuset

The Danish Royal Court announced last week that a series of examinations had been conducted at Prince Henrik during the late summer, and a team of specialists from the Rigshospitalet have now concluded that Prince Henrik suffers from dementia. The diagnosis implies a decline in Prince Henrik’s cognitive functional level and the extent of the cognitive failure is greater than expected considering Prince Henrik’s age. This can be accompanied by changes in behaviour, reaction patterns, judgement and emotional life and the interaction with the outside world.

Prince Henrik of Denmark has been married to Queen Margrethe since 1967, and the couple have two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim and eight grandchildren.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.