Thursday, August 3, 2017

Another nail in the coffin for Prince Henrik

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Prince Henrik, the outspoken and insecure consort of Queen Margrethe II, has done it again.

Earlier today, the Palace issued a statement regarding Henrik's burial wish.  He does not wish to be buried in Roskilde Cathedral with his wife because he isn't king.

The French-born Henrik, 83,  retired  from official duties in 2016.  This announcement was made by Queen Margrethe II in a speech on December 31, 2015.  His retirement was effective from January 1, 2016.   Four and a half months later, on April 16,  Henrik renounced his title of Prince Consort, which he had received in 2006.

I am going to say this straight out:  Prince Henrik is a pompous and petulant old man with little regard or appreciation for his wife, who happens to be the Sovereign, the head of state, of Denmark, or his son, Crown Prince Frederik, the heir apparent.

In 2002,  Henrik had a temper tantrum and decided to leave Denmark and spend a few weeks at the family home in Caix, France.  The reason for his foot-stamping exit was due to the fact that Crown Prince Frederik was named as host of the annual New Year's Day reception in place of Queen Margrethe, who was unable to attend.

Henrik was furious that his son was asked to step in for the Queen.  Henrik felt that he, the consort, should have been the one.   He probably ordered his bags to be packed,  got a plane ticket and flew to France to sulk and drown his sorrows with a bottle of good wine from his estate.

After his return to Denmark in the middle of February,  Henrik said he "pushed aside, degraded and humiliated", and he had lost his  self-respect.

"For many years I have been Denmark's number two," he said. "I've been satisfied with that role, but I don't want to be relegated to number three after so many years."

Dude:  your son is the heir to the throne. You are not the star of the show.   Your wife is the Head of State.  She is the one with constitutional.  The spouse of the sovereign has no constitutional role, so regardless of the title, the spouse of the Sovereign will not have the same rank, position or role.  Got it.

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 "The royal house has today announced that his Royal Highness Prince Henrik does not want to be buried in Roskilde Cathedral, as it has otherwise been planned.

The Prince's decision implies that the Prince will not lie next to her Majesty Queen under the sarcophagus that Professor and sculptor Bjørn Nørgaard has prepared.

The Queen has for some time been familiar with the decision of the Royal Highness and agrees with the decision. The Prince's decision does not change the Queen's funeral plans.

It has been promoted in the media that the Prince wants to be buried in France. This is not correct. The prince still wishes to be buried in Denmark, but the circumstances are not yet in place. "

Seriously, Henrik,  do you dislike your wife so much that you do not wish to be buried with her because you cannot have the title king?  Time to stop the petulance.   Take a look across the North Sea to the United Kingdom, and how the Duke of Edinburgh, consort of Queen Elizabeth II, has handled being a Prince without the official title of Prince Consort.  Did you follow the news yesterday of the dignified retirement.    Talk about service to one's country and one's sovereign.  Of course, in precedence, the Duke of Edinburgh has precedence over his son, the Prince of Wales.  He does not have temper tantrums when the Prince of Wales has filled in for the Queen.  Why?  Charles is the heir apparent.  It is called learning the job.

Lene Balleby, the Danish royal house's communication manager, spoke to the Danish newspaper, BT, about Henrik's decision.

It is true that Prince Henrik has decided that he will not be buried in Roskilde Cathedral as planned.  It's no secret that for many years the prince has been dissatisfied with his role and the title he has received in the Danish monarchy.  The dissatisfaction has increased in recent years.  For the prince, the decision to not be buried beside the queen is the natural consequence of not have been treated equally in relation to his spouse -- not having the title and function he desires."

In other words, Prince Henrik believes he does not believe he should be with the queen in death when he has not been a king in life.

Balleby added:  "The Prince loves Denmark and has worked for Denmark for more than 50 years.  Therefore, the prince will also be buried in Denmark, but the plans for his burial are not yet in place.  Queen Margrethe has known for a long time about the the prince's decision and agrees with it.

"Of course, it's a decision that the queen probably did not like, but she has known about it for a long time, so the news has not come as a surprise.  The announcement does not meant that their vacation plans in France have changed."

Balleby also reiterated that Margrethe and Henrik are not getting a divorce, or that she plans to abdicate because of Henrik's "far-reaching decision."

"This has no consequence for the Queen's work," said Balleby.

The palace spokesman also responded to a question on why Henrik's wishes were not granted.  "Prince Henrik has his own court, but in terms of the title issue, we chose to the follow the European tradition that has been applicable in England and the Netherlands.   The couple's professional activities and their marriage are two different things."

Good spin, but I think Henrik's decision is yet another knife in the Queen's heart.


Lori Walker said...

I have always thought he was petulant. Perhaps the best thing they can do is divorce or at least separate. Feel sorry for Margrethe. Henrik is acting like a 5 year old.

Cheryl Ciucevich said...

Cheers to you for this post! And, thank you for pointing out Prince Philip's excellent example in stark contrast to Henrik's poor one. His behavior smacks of chaunvinism as much selfishness. To decide not to be buried with your wife is truly low behavior for anyone. I can only imagine what Queen Margrethe and the rest of the family must deal with in private...

Diane Brown said...

I have such disdain for him! Pompous arse 24/7. No one respects someone who is so selfish and arrogant. How she has maintained living with him all these years is beyond me. He is no Phillip that is for sure ~

SL said...

"Prince Henrik believes he does not believe he should be with the queen in death when he has not been a king in life." -- He sounds more than just a little confused !

SuperTweezy5 said...

How insulting to the queen and family.

Marion Banks-Wilkinson said...

I am expecting some flack but here goes, first yes he comes across as a pompous prat, secondly though, a woman who marries a King automatically becomes Queen, if we now have equality why isnt he King Consort? I have always thought it unfair on the male consorts that a female consort becomes a Queen and they get Prince if the government lets them. This is why I actually approve of the idea that Camilla may become Princess consort. This all comes down to the historical fact that a female Monarch was considered second best.

Bridget =) said...

This sounds like a modern day Mary, Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley story! Darnley was all butt-hurt that Mary wouldn't give him the title of Crown Matrimonal. I *think* he might have had the title of king tho, I am not sure. But he was all pissed just the same.

I wonder why she stays with him. Was this a happy marriage? He sounds like a baby who isn't getting his way. I'd kick his fat arse to France now and say "bye Felicia!" What a douche-nozzle.

Bietje said...

Am I the only one who understands him? I was in Roskilde and althought the church is beautiful, I don't want to be buried there (even if I belonged to the Royal family). In fact his won father-in-law (en probably his mother-in-law too) are not buried IN the church, but outside the church.
And for the fact that he has problems with the second or third place. I can understand that too. Prince Claus of the Netherlands suffered from depressions because of this. He was a very bright man whos capacity was nog fully used. And he was not the first or even they only one.
By the way Prince Claus did not want to be buried in Leiden, but at the end he wanted to be in the same grave or mausoleum as his wife (after she dies of course).
Mr. Pieter van Vollenhoven and his wife, Princes Margriet of the Netherlands, said several years ago that they don't wat to be buried in the tombe in Leiden.
Just because he married a future queen Henrik can't decide on his own where he wants to be on his last rest place? Sorry, but I think he is right to choose himself. And very brave to tell this long before he dies.

MAXny said...

What a cad!!! He better hope he dies after the Queen because she could exact revenge by burying his sorry behind in Copenhagen anyway.

BlueSaphire70 said...

Well, if the titles of Queen and King were indeed "equal" then maybe his argument might prosper. But, as I understand it, once there is a "king", the "queen" is not regnant, she is a consort, which Queen Margrethe is not. Therefore, to make him "king" would not make him equal to his wife. He'd be above her as far as rank goes.

TBH, Prince Henrik wasn't even a proper count when he married, unlike Prince Philip, who was a prince in his own right. When Henrik was made "prince" upon his marriage, he was elevated to a rank way higher than he ever had. For Prince Henrik to put forth a demand to be king is quite ludicrous and shows a real want of feeling for his long suffering wife. In addition, for an educated man, it also shows him to be quite ignorant.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

One salient point. The spouse of a consitutional monarch can never be equal to the head of state because the head of state is a singular person. The spouse has no official constitutional role - so the title is actually not relevant. For another, gender equality does not extend to titles on all occasions. In the UK, a female peer does not share her title with her husband. Philip was not a prince when he married Princess Elizabeth. He received the British HRH and the peerages, but it was not until 1957 that he was created a Prince of the UK

BlueSaphire70 said...

Yes, I misspoke when I said Prince Philip was a prince in his own right when he married. He was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, but he renounced his title when he became a naturalized British subject. Therefore, technically he was not a prince when he married as he was plain Lt. Philip Mountbatten. I should have said instead that he was born a prince, unlike Henrik, which was the point I was trying to make.

I was interested in finding out if there can be a Queen Regnant as well as a King Consort and I read that Portugal has had that happen. I read that a Prince Consort of Portugal can become King Consort after the birth of their first child. I'm guessing that's the precedence that Prince Henrik is arguing. But that's in Portugal, and Prince Henrik wants that to happen in Denmark, a country that already had a referendum to change their succession act to allow Queen Margrethe to reign, and which changed the act again to have absolute primogeniture. They would have to change their laws yet again to accommodate him. I guess if he was a beloved Prince Consort they might be so inclined, but given his behavior I don't know that that's case. But, stranger things have happened!

Candace Hinchey said...

WOW! Can you say DIVA? What an insult to HM and his children to act like a little spoiled petulant child over a title.

Sad for HM.

Rory Elizabeth said...

He is eccentric, that's for sure. At least to us. One never knows what goes on in someone else's marriage. Maybe she married him because he was eccentric. He deserves to be buried where he wants to be buried. Like every single one of us. Maybe he wants to be cremated but they don't want the backlash from the public. Maybe he wants his ashes divided into thirds and spread in Viet Nam, France, and Denmark. Maybe he doesn't feel a part of his ashes should be buried next to the queen because of the expense. None of us know. As for what he did 16 years ago, all anyone of us ever heard was one side of it. He did a lot of good for his country in the interim. Why do small things that have been discussed inside a family about what happens to a body after death matter to anyone but the family? She is honoring his wishes. As for wanting to be king and her equal, well he didn't get it and never will. I want a green burial and will be in a different cemetery than my husband. Each of us will be dead so what does it matter. Yes, he has acted in petulant in the past. But he has done a great deal more good for his country. Plus, he changed his name, religion, gave up hid nationality to marry her. So why can't he be buried where he wants, just like the rest of us? He has surely earned that right. They will both be dead and it won't affect their country at all. There is no scandal here. The issue is between a married couple and we are only hearing one side of it yet everyone rushes to judgement.

Adelaide Schneeps said...

Prince Philip was indeed a prince. He was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

He was born a prince, but he renounced his Greek and Danish titles in 1941 in order to join the royal navy. In the UK, his legal name was Philip Mountbatten.

Caroline Hasenyager said...

I don't think the majority of responses here are rush to judgment. It seems very clear that Prince Henrik is acting like a ludicrous, petulant, brat.

I don't dispute the points of a few posters that his position, over the last 50 years, while terrifically privileged, was probably not always easy. It is one thing to know, going into a marriage, that one will be permanently in a slightly junior position to one's wife, another thing to live it. I have great respect for the Duke of Edinburgh, but there was much (admittedly anecdotal) evidence from the 1950s that he also found his position difficult to adapt to.

I also think that if Queen Margarethe's and Prince's marriage has deteriorated over the years (which I think it MUST have done), the Prince is entitled to be buried where he pleases. What disgusts me so much about this is less his opinions (which are his own business, though, as Marlene points out, he needs a refresher course on the constitution), but the way he has aired them publicly with no respect for his wife, his sons, and the overall dignity of the Danish monarchy. If he wants to be buried elsewhere, fine, but leave it to the royal household to make the announcement. Likewise, if it is SO important to him that the world know how egregiously he believes he has been treated, give a sanctioned interview acknowledging that the realities of being a consort have been more difficult for him to cope with than he originally anticipated. But that is clearly too classy and not sufficiently hostile to his wife (and I say his "wife" deliberately, as I think this is the crux of the issue for Henrik) for him to do.

Apologies for the long post. The briefer version probably would have been, "I believe the strong negative backlash to the Prince's actions is due to public disgust at his treatment of his wife, not his opinions, however outdated they may be, per se." ;)


HarpoSnarx said...

For half a century I've read numerous news items about Henrik's belly-aching about his role and marriage. I suspect his very even tempered wife has developed ways to deal with his grandiosity and habit of whining to reporters. But this tiresome incident is pretty disrespectful to the wife, the mother of his sons, and her service to Denmark. Hopefully the future queens of Spain, Belgium, Sweden and Norway (did I miss any?) find a Philip Mountbatten.