Denmark’s Prince Henrik passed away only on Tuesday night in his home country, but details of his funeral have already been revealed.
The prince, who was the father-in-law of Australian-born Princess Mary, will be laid to rest on February 20, according to reports. While Denmark is grieving the death of the 83-year-old, a state funeral would not be held in his honour. Instead, a small, private service for his close family and friends will take place at Christianborg Slotskirke, a church in the capital Copenhagen.
Prince Henrik, who was upset about the fact that he was never called a king, spoke out last year about his burial arrangements. He was unhappy that his wife, who was born into the Danish royal family, was queen, while he remained a prince (as is the case in most monarchies). As such, he said he didn’t want to be laid to rest next to his wife, Queen Margrethe, when he died. In an interview in 2017, he claimed that he was never treated fairly and was adamant that he wouldn’t be laid next to her for all of eternity.
It looks like he got his wish, with confirmation that his remains will be cremated rather than buried in a sarcophagus already prepared for him and Queen Margarethe at Roskilde Cathedral, and his ashes scattered in the ocean and around Fredensborg Castle, where he died.
Prince Henrik’s funeral arrangements will break a 459-year-old tradition of royal couples being buried next to each other, the BBC reports.
His death comes after a short battle with dementia and other health problems. He was initially diagnosed with dementia last year and was hospitalised last month with a severe lung infection. He returned to Fredensborg Castle just hours before his death so he could spend his final moments with his family. “His Royal Highness Prince Henrik has today been transferred from Rigshospitalet to Fredensborg Castle, where the Prince wishes to stay in his last time,” a statement read.
He passed away in his sleep with Queen Margrethe and sons Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim by his side.
The French-born prince retired from all his official duties in 2016 and spent most of his time in France, although he ostensibly remained married to Margrethe. His son, Prince Frederik, was at the Winter Olympics in South Korea when he heard of his father’s deteriorating health. He rushed on a plane and was able to be with his father when he took his final breath.
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