Prince Henrik, the Man Who Wanted to Be Denmark's King, Has Died

Despite a somewhat complicated marriage, Queen Margrethe II was by his side when he slipped away.

Prince Henrik of Denmark, husband of Queen Margrethe II, has died. He was 83 years old. According to the royal house, he passed away "peacefully in his sleep" late Tuesday night from a lung infection. His wife and two sons, Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, and Prince Joachim of Denmark, were with him at Fredensborg Palace as he died.

Earlier this week, Henrik had been transferred from a hospital in Copenhagen to his home "where he wishes to spend his last moments," according to a statement released by the Palace.

"The royal family has lost an anchor," Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said. "[He] kept his good spirits till the end.”

Henrik was something of a controversial figure in Denmark, never quite satisfied with his role as Prince Consort. He had wanted to be King, a position he felt so strongly about that he announced he did not want to be buried with his wife in 2017.

"It is no secret that the prince for many years has been unhappy with his role and the title he has been awarded in the Danish monarchy," the Royal Danish House's director of communications said, according to the BBC.

"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."

Queen Margrethe has agreed to his wishes. While it is expected that she will be interred in a sarcophagus and placed in the cathedral where Danish royals have been buried for hundreds of years, Henrik will be cremated. Half his ashes will reportedly be spread "over Danish seas" while the other half will be buried "in a royal private garden at the Fredensborg Castle," according to the BBC.

See more photos of his life below:


Then Princess Margrethe II and her husband Prince Henrik in 1967.

Margrethe and Henrik on their wedding day.

Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik with their grandchildren in 2015.

Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe II at a lunch reception in 2015.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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