Prince Henrik’s funeral arrangements have been revealed after he 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.
The prince died peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday after being hospitalized with pneumonia in late January. His wife, Queen Margrethe, and their two sons were by his side.
A funeral service will be held for his family at Christiansborg Slotskirke in Copenhagen on Feb. 20.
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.
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.
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, for the record, is not traditionally given to husbands of monarchs. (Queen Elizabeth‘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, Henrik’s son, Prince 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.