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Denmark’s Prince Henrik Diagnosed with Dementia Following Controversial Comments About His Wife the Queen

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A representative for the Danish royal family announced on Wednesday that Prince Henrik, husband of Queen Margrethe, has been diagnosed with dementia.

Henrik, who was admitted to the hospital twice during the month of August, was examined at Rigshospitalet, a hospital in Copenhagen, where the doctors found that “the extent of the cognitive failure is greater than expected considering the age of the prince,” according to the Copenhagen Post.

“Following a longer course of investigation, and most recently, a series of examinations conducted during late summer, a team of specialists at Rigshospitalet has now concluded that His Royal Highness Prince Henrik suffers from dementia,” the palace said in a statement.

The 83-year-old royal retired from official duties last year, though he still makes public appearances — most recently at his grandson Prince Nikolai’s 18th birthday party. According to the statement, his appearances will now be lessened even further, and his role in his honorary positions will be evaluated, too.

The statement also said that Henrik’s dementia can be accompanied by changes in behavior, reactions and judgment.

Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images

Henrik has been in the headlines recently for his controversial comments about his decision not to be buried next to his wife, as planned, in already-designed sarcophagus at Denmark’s Roskilde Cathedral. The choice, he said, stemmed from his anger at not being made a King Consort when his wife ascended the throne in 1972 — something Henrik has long been openly bitter about.

“She’s the one playing me for a fool,” he said of his wife in an interview with the Danish newspaper B.T. “I didn’t marry The Queen to get buried at Roskilde. It’s my wife and not me that can do anything about this matter. If she wants me buried with her, she has to make me King Consort.”