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Denmark's Most Controversial Prince Has Passed Away, And Even After Death, He's Still Making Headlines

He was a real character, and Danes either loved him or hated him.

The 83-year-old Prince Henrik who left a legacy of being frank, opinionated, and emotional passed away a few minutes before midnight on Tuesday, a few breaths short of Valentine's Day. While most royal deaths leave a country grieving as one, Prince Henrik's passing highlighted the many times his actions struck very different chords in the hearts of his people.

 

 

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The Danish royal who was married to Queen Margrethe II first caught the world's attention in August last year when he publicly declared that he refused to be buried next to his wife at Roskilde Cathedral when the time came. People were quick to dig up the story behind the definitive statement from the noise-making Prince and uncovered a long history of dissatisfaction with his position in Denmark's monarchy.

He's had a pretty topsy-turvy relationship with the royal family and the Danish people as a whole, but no one can discount the lasting impressions that he made during his reign. In remembrance of the Prince, here's a recap of some of his biggest headlining moments:

 

 

1. The French-born diplomat married Princess Margrethe who became Queen of Denmark in 1967. As is customary in many European monarchies, men that marry queens do not become kings. The Prince was named Prince Consort Henrik. From the very beginning of his royal life, he was never happy about being "second rated" in the palace and "living in the shadow" of the Queen. He compared the experience to being like a puppy trailing behind her and occasionally being given a sugar cube for good behavior.

 

 

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2. He was often ridiculed for his thick French accent by the media, other royals, and ordinary citizens alike. He was also criticized for focusing his energies on artistic pursuits; he wrote poetry and made sculptures, and even wrote a cookbook and was a known wine-lover. In reaction to this, the feisty Prince told the media, "A lot of people think I’m a loser until I prove them wrong,” cementing his reputation of never taking insults sitting down.

 

 

3. It was only in 1997, close to three decades after his marriage to the Queen, that he represented her in an official overseas engagement in Greenland. In this instance, he took the opportunity to share with the press his feelings of being treated with less respect that he felt he deserved.

 

 

4. Come 2002, the Prince felt that he had had enough disrespect from the people of Denmark and fled to his private vineyard and chateau in France to "reflect on life." He would stay there for three weeks while getting lambasted for being too emotional and a being a "whiner."

 

 

5. On one New Year's Eve celebration, Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe’s son, Prince Frederik, was chosen to represent her over her husband. While Prince Henrik had always accepted that he would never be the heir to the throne, he did say that he would greatly appreciate it if he was given more responsibility and attention as a monarch.

 

 

#princehenrik

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6. Prince Henrik once performed with the band Michael Learns To Rock during a performance for the royals of Thailand in 2013. This was the beginning of the turning point of the Prince's reputation, especially with younger Danes who took to his unconventional approach towards his royal status.

 

 

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7. Sensing a renewed interest from Denmark's newer generations, the Prince didn't mind being spotted at Freetown Christiania, a known bohemian collective in Copenhagen infamous for its residents' marijuana use.

 

 

8. Continuing to please his younger supporters, Prince Henrik got in on pre-Halloween fun by dressing up as a panda during a 2014 costume charity party.

 

 

9. He skipped Queen Margrethe’s 75th birthday and claimed it was due to poor health. Funnily, he was spotted at a jam-packed event in Venice three days later.

 

 

10. In 2016, the Prince "retired" from his position as Prince Consort but remained married to the Queen. He would no longer be expected to fulfill royal responsibilities, but he was quick to point out that it wouldn't have made much difference as he was never involved much during his almost five-decade run as Danish Prince.

 

 

11. Finally, in August 2017, the Prince made the decision to be cremated, rather than buried next to the Queen. He claimed that it was because a man who was never considered as her equal had no right being given this privilege. This would break a tradition upheld by the Danish monarchy for close to 500 years, but the Queen reportedly accepted his wishes and did not oppose them.

 

 

#rip #princehenrik #danskkongehus #denmark

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12. The Prince was diagnosed with dementia in September 2017. The continued decline in his health was compounded by the lung infection he contracted late in January 2018, and eventually passed away in his sleep due to complications.

 

 

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A funeral for Prince Henrik will be held in a few days' time, and the royal family will reportedly be in mourning until the first half of March. Flags around Denmark will also be flown at half mast during this period. As his last wish, the Prince requested that his ashes be scattered in seas surrounding Denmark and around the palace grounds.