Reluctant consort to Denmark's Queen, Prince Henrik dies at 83

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Prince Henrik of Denmark, the husband of Queen Margrethe, has died at the age of 83. "Her Majesty the Queen and the two sons were at his side".

Prince Henrik, the French-born husband of Queen Margrethe II, stood out from the Danish royal family for not hiding his personal views on matters of the realm, including most famously seeking a more prominent title. The royal was treated at the Rigshospitalet initially and later transferred from the lung surgery department to the infectious department for more cautious treatment.

Both loved and criticized by the Danes for his aristocratic manner, exemplified by his colourful clothes and thick French accent, in recent years Henrik found support particularly amongst the Danish youth for breaking with Danish norms.

He was diagnosed with dementia in September 2017.

Born Henri Marie Jean Andre de Laborde de Monpezat to a family of titled industrialists in south-west France in 1934, the future royal spent the first five years of his life in Vietnam, where his family had business interests.

Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik in 1972. He had retired from royal duties in 2016.

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By the time Margrethe ascended the throne in 1972, the couple had two young children: Prince Frederik, born in 1968, and Joakim, born in 1969. He also openly said he did not want to be buried next to his wife upon his death unless she changed his title to king consort.

The controversy took on a new dimension last August when the prince declared that he would not be buried at Roskilde Cathedral, the resting place of Danish monarchs and their spouses for the past 459 years, because of his long-standing grievance.

"A lot of people think I'm a loser until I prove them wrong", he once told the media.

He made headlines in 2002, just two years before Frederik married Australian-born Mary Donaldson, when he fled the country and retreated to his chateau in the south of France to "reflect on life" after he complained that he didn't receive enough respect in Denmark.

Months later he was photographed strolling with friends in the self-governed Copenhagen hippie community of Christiania, known for its cannabis trade, and in June 2014 he dressed up in a panda costume at a charity event.

The tabloids were outraged, but fans saw it as the kind of erratic behaviour they had come to love him for.