Denmark’s Prince Henrik refuses to be buried beside his wife, Queen Margrethe

By @chelean on
Denmark Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik
FILE PHOTO: Denmark's Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik wave from the balcony during Queen Margrethe's 76th birthday celebration at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark April 16, 2016. Reuters/Marie Hald/Scanpix/File Photo

Prince Henrik of Denmark has refused to be buried next to his wife, Queen Margrethe II, because he is still seething at being called a prince rather than a king. The 83-year-old prince consort said his decision was the result of gender discrimination he has been subjected to since marrying the 77-year-old monarch in 1967.

The royal couple were expected to be laid to rest in the custom-made sarcophagus at the Roskilde Cathedral when their time comes. However, Prince Henrik has said he would not use the space reserved for him because he felt that he was not treated equally. His wife is said to have accepted his decision.

“It makes me angry that I am subjected to discrimination,” he told the French paper Le Figaro (via People). “Denmark, which is otherwise known as an avid defender of gender equality, is apparently willing to consider husbands as worth less than their wives.”

The Royal Danish House’s director of communications also confirmed to tabloid BT (via BBC) that the prince has been unhappy with his role and title. “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.”

Prince Henrik got the title prince consort instead, which is the traditional title for the husband of a reigning queen. He renounced the title in April 2016 and has since been called His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Denmark.

Born Henri Marie Jean Andre de Laborde de Monpezat, he married the then Princess Margrethe, the heir presumptive to the throne, in 1967. His name was Danicised to Henrik. Although he would not want to be buried next to his wife, he would still want to be buried in Denmark, not his native France.

This is not the first time Henrik has lamented his position in the royal household. In 2002, he fled to France for three weeks after he claimed that his royal status had been downgraded in favour of his firstborn son, Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark.

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

Henrik is not the only man who isn’t the king to their queen wife. The UK’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has been occupying the role of consort to Queen Elizabeth II since they married in 1947.