Prince Henrik of Denmark, who died on Tuesday after being hospitalized with pneumonia in late January, was transported via casket from northern Denmark’s Fredensborg Castle to the royal family’s official residence in downtown Copenhagen on Thursday in preparation for his funeral next week.
A white coffin holding the late prince and draped in a Denmark’s red-white flag with the royal heraldic was photographed being carried by royal guards. It was taken to Christian IX’s Palace, one of the four palaces at Amalienborg.
Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrik’s wife, was seen following behind her late husband. She and their sons — Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim — were by the prince’s side when he passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was 83.
A funeral service will be held for his family at Christiansborg Slotskirke in Copenhagen on Feb. 20. Prior to that, the closed casket will be on public display for locals to pay their respect in the chapel of the Christiansborg Palace.
Henrik’s children, daughters-in-law and grandchildren, including Crown Princess Frederik, Prince Joachim, Crown Princess Mary and Princess Marie, all made an appearance outside Amalienborg to greet well-wishers and see the flowers and cards that had been left in Henrik’s memory outside the palace.
Prior to his death, Prince Henrik famously refused to be buried next to his wife the Queen following his death. His controversial decision was a result of his longtime bitterness over the fact that he was never named king.
His refusal to being buried next to his wife, whom he claims never acknowledged him as her equal, goes against an almost 500-year tradition.
The palace said that the family was respecting his wish not to be buried in a tomb prepared for him and Margrethe in Roskilde Cathedral. Instead, his body will be cremated and half of the ashes scattered in the sea in Denmark and half buried in the garden of Fredensborg Castle — where he died — per his request.
Henrik, who retired from royal duties in January 2016, said last year that his lack of a king title has made him feel unequal in his marriage, and that he feels disrespected by his wife because of it.
“My wife has decided that she would like to be queen, and I’m very pleased with that,” he said. “..But as a person, she must know that if a man and a woman are married, then they are equal. My wife hasn’t shown me the respect an ordinary wife should show her spouse.”
He even said that she made a “fool” of him by not giving the title of king — which is not traditionally given to husbands of monarchs. (Queen Elizabeth II‘s husband, Prince Philip, for example, is a prince, not a king.)
“She’s the one playing me for a fool. I didn’t marry the queen to get buried at Roskilde.”
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On Friday, Feb. 9, Frederick rushed home from the Winter Olympics to be by his ailing father’s side.
Doctors diagnosed Henrik with pneumonia at the end of January while he was traveling in Egypt. He was hurriedly transported back to Copenhagen, where tests revealed a tumor in his left lung. Although a biopsy confirmed it was benign, he contracted an infection, and the palace announced Friday that Prince Henrik’s condition had “greatly worsened.”
During 2017, Henrik was admitted to the hospital several times before being diagnosed with dementia in September.
Henrick married Queen Margrethe II in June 1967 in Copenhagen. They have two children, Crown Prince Frederik, 49, and Prince Joachim, 48.