On 14 February 2018, it was announced that Prince Henrik had died in his sleep at Fredensborg slot late on 13 February, in the presence of wife Margrethe II of Denmark and their two sons.
I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the Royal family.
I was born in Denmark and enjoyed a phenomenal child and teen-hood within safe environments, and the Royal family has always been an integral part of “our” culture, especially in my household.
The family has always been appreciated by the International press and well respected by other Royal and Republic institution. Quite often, when people learn that I was born in Denmark, they usually ask me about the high taxes, how it is ‘being the happiest country on Earth,’ Christania, or whether there is any news in regards to “our” Royal family? Most of the Royal followers usually enlighten me about the various ‘upcoming’ ceremonies.
On the other hand, I have also encountered individuals finding it unfair that a select few are merely born into an ‘elite’ society- by just inheriting many privileges without doing anything to deserve it. Others find it “crazy” that Queens and Kings still exist in the 21st Century, and also that vesting so much authority in one person could be dangerous.
I can understand their way of thinking, but their conclusions are based on ignorance and utter misconceptions. Denmark is a Constitutional Monarchy, which means Queen Margrethe II exercises her authorities in accordance with the Danish Constitution, and NOT as an absolute monarch. A Constitutional monarch is “a sovereign who reigns but does not rule”! In regards to “privileges.” Well, the Queen/King is the head of State and acts as the official representative of Denmark. It is a part of our history and of cultural importance, – not to mention a magnet for tourists.
I have met his youngest son, Prince Joachim, on several occasions, and in restaurants around in Copenhagen, and thrilled I am not in his shoes because you have zero freedom as such. Alright, you enjoy a few large properties here and there, some exotic cars and opulent party invitations, some travels? All this stuff gets monotonous in time and what some people look at as “privileges,” will eventually turn into a curse. At least, that in my opinion.
Prince Henrik of Denmark occupied a significant National, as well, as International role as an “ambassador” for the country building ties with other Nations. He was a controversial figure because he was an artist at heart and viewed the world differently. He was a charismatic individual and carried out his official duties, also when he became very ill. He has expressed some outrageous statements towards the end of his life and were from time to time a laughing stock to the media. However, he was a man of a particular caliber and intellect loved by his family, friends and many other foreign State officials.
He craved the respect and recognition by the Danes, which he was not always given. Now, in death, it seems to me an appreciation for his persona has surfaced. Many have now and are going to pay their respect, – although he requested not to receive a Stately funeral. The official ceremony has begun, and his funeral will be on the 20th of February 2018. Thereby, he will be cremated, and half of the ashes will be spread in the ocean and inside one of his favourite gardens.
Thank you for reading