Prince Henrik, husband of Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, passed away on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at Fredensborg Palace at the age of 83. The French-born prince had quite a controversial life that many Danes never accepted. Here are a few facts that prove Prince Henrik was a real bon vivant.
He spoke four languages and served in the French military
Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat, as Prince Henrik was named before he got married to Queen Margrethe II in 1967, studied law and political science before joining the French Army during the Algerian War. He also studied in Hong Kong and Saigon and was fluent in French, Danish, Chinese and Vietnamese.
He was a poet and a wine-lover
The fact that two of the things Prince Henrik loved the most were poetry and wine makes us wonder if he would have preferred to have lived his life as a bohemian in the suburbs of France instead of being prince of the Kingdom of Denmark. Prince Henrik didn’t just love reading poetry, he also enjoyed writing his own poems in his mother tongue. He also wrote memoirs and books, including a coffee table book on French gastronomy, and translated many books into Danish.
Prince Henrik was never happy about the fact that he wasn’t named King and always thought he was seen as ‘a little dog that follows behind and gets a sugar cube once in a while’, he had said. Therefore in 2016 he announced that he didn’t want to be buried at Roskilde Cathedral next to his wife, as the Danish tradition has it for royal families. Queen Margrethe II accepted his decision but many Danes disapproved of his behaviour.
His press statements about his marriage
Just like commoners, royal couples have their disagreements too and Prince Henrik didn’t hesitate to talk about his own marriage issues to the press. His grievance was that he wasn’t treated as an equal by the Queen, and he made sure to make this clear to the public. ‘My wife does not give me the respect a normal wife must give her spouse’, he had said. Locals were not happy with his disrespect towards their beloved queen – but that wasn’t the first time his statements to the press created controversy.
‘Spanking is good for children’
When in the 1980s Henrik publicly said he wanted a paycheck instead of relying on the queen’s annual allowances, Danes were outraged with the ‘French prince’ and many stressed that his doesn’t totally fit in with Danish society. When later he publicly shared his opinion that spanking is good for children, things only got worse.
In 2002 he fled to France to ‘reflect on life’…
Prince Henrik had often expressed disappointment for not being accepted as an equal by his wife, and for feeling that Danes saw him as inferior to the queen. ‘A lot of people think I’m a loser until I prove them wrong’, he had said. The last straw came in 2002, when Crown Prince Frederik – and not Prince Henrik – was chosen to represent Queen Margrethe II at a New Year’s ceremony. Prince Henrik travelled to his chateau in the South of France to spend some time away from the royal family ‘to reflect on life’, saying he felt ‘pushed aside, degraded and humiliated’.
…and again in 2016
It seems that since 2016, the Danish palaces haven’t managed to contain Prince Henrik, who often traveled to France and spent several weeks or even months at his private vineyard.
He was seen in Christiania
He was seen taking a walk in Freetown Christiania along with some of his friends.
He like breaking the dress code
In 2014, Prince Henrik decided to make a very special appearance at a WWF charity that he and the Queen had been invited to. Probably inspired by the theme of the party, he decided to wear a panda costume. The guests seemed to enjoy it but we highly doubt this was also the case for Queen Margrethe II.
His trip to Venice
When in 2015 Prince Henrik was seen in one of the most popular squares in Venice, only a few days after he had claimed he couldn’t attend Queen Margrethe II’s 75th birthday due to an illness, some applauded him for being Denmark’s most cute bon vivant, while others were, once more, disapproved by his behaviour.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.