Denmark’s Prince Henrik, the man who was never king, dies at 83

Feb. 14 (UPI) — Prince Henrik of Denmark, the French-born husband of Queen Margrethe II, has died at the age of 83 at his home in Fredensborg Castle.

The prince died “peacefully in his sleep” on Tuesday surrounded by his wife and two sons, Denmark’s Royal House said.

Prince Henrik was diagnosed with dementia last year and was hospitalized last month for a benign tumor in his lung. He was readmitted Feb. 2, when the palace said his health had “greatly worsened.”

Henrik was famous for his venting his frustration publicly about never becoming King of Denmark — instead receiving the title of Prince Consort when he married the heir to the Danish throne. In Denmark, if a princess is given the title of Queen, her husband does not automatically gain the title of king.

Henrik, who married Margrethe in 1967, announced last year that he did not want to be buried next to his wife because he was never made her equal.

Despite years of tradition of burying royal spouses beside one another in Roskilde Cathedral, the queen accepted his choice.

Prince Henrik caused a stir in 2002 when Crown Prince Frederik replaced Henrik to represent the Queen at a New Year’s ceremony.

“For many years I have been Denmark’s number two,” He said at the time. “I’ve been satisfied with that role, but I don’t want to be relegated to number three.”

Throughout his life, Prince Henrik served as patron of the Danish Red Cross, president of the World Wildlife Federation and the Europa Nostra. He studied law and politics at the Sorbonne in Paris and Chinese and Vietnamese languages.

The prince also sold wine for more than 40 years after he and the Queen bought Château de Cayx in 1974.