Death of prince who brought whiff of scandal to Denmark

Prince Henrik of Denmark, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Margrethe of Denmark and the Duke of Edinburgh before a state banquet at St George's Hall in Windsor Castle.
Prince Henrik of Denmark, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Margrethe of Denmark and the Duke of Edinburgh before a state banquet at St George's Hall in Windsor Castle.
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Prince Henrik, the French-born husband of the Danish monarch Queen Margrethe, has died, aged of 83.

A statement on the royal house’s website said the prince died in his sleep late on Tuesday, with the Queen at his side.

Henrik, who publicly vented his frustration at not being the social equal of his wife or their son, was made prince consort when Margrethe acceded to the throne in 1972.

The health of the prince, who was known for his frank and forthright views, had “seriously worsened” last week, the palace said, prompting the return of Crown Prince Frederik from the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

He had been transferred earlier on Tuesday from a Copenhagen hospital to the family’s residence north of the capital, “where he wishes to spend his last moments,” the royal palace had said.

A later statement said Henrik, who had been diagnosed with dementia last year, died at 11.18 pm in his sleep and that his two sons were also at his side.

In one of the world’s oldest kingdoms that prides itself on having a stable royal house with no scandals, Henrik caused one last August by announcing that when he died he did not want to be buried next to Margrethe in the cathedral where the remains of Danish royals have gone for centuries. The Queen already had a specially designed sarcophagus waiting for the couple.