Dan­ish queen, hus­band in burial spat

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - JAN M. OLSEN

The hus­band of Den­mark’s Queen Mar­grethe is caus­ing a stir in one of the world’s old­est monar­chies.

Prince Hen­rik has an­nounced he won’t be buried next to Mar­grethe in the Roskilde Cathe­dral, where Dan­ish roy­als have been buried since 1559. She has had a spe­cially de­signed sar­coph­a­gus made for the cou­ple there.

“Tra­di­tions are im­por­tant to all monar­chies so this is felt pretty vi­o­lently,” said Lars Hovbakke So­erensen, an ex­pert in Dan­ish his­tory.

Lene Balleby, the spokesper­son for Den­mark’s royal house, told Dan­ish tabloid news­pa­per BT that Hen­rik has “for years been dis­sat­is­fied with his role and the ti­tle.”

Mar­grethe ac­ceded to the throne in 1972 and be­came Den­mark’s first fe­male monarch in cen­turies. Hen­rik, 83, has long com­plained that he didn’t be­come king in­stead.

“The de­ci­sion not to be buried be­side the queen is the nat­u­ral con­se­quence of not hav­ing been treated equally in re­la­tion to his spouse,” Balleby was quoted as say­ing.

“Any man who is not equal to his spouse is not wor­thy to be buried in the same grave,” Hen­rik said Fri­day, ac­cord­ing to the Ek­stra Bladet tabloid.

A change to the Dan­ish Con­sti­tu­tion in 1953 al­lowed fe­male suc­ces­sion, paving the way for Mar­grethe to be­come the monarch. Even be­fore that, Hen­rik wouldn’t have be­come king.

The palace said Thurs­day that Mar­grethe, 77, has ac­cepted Hen­rik’s de­ci­sion, adding it didn’t change her burial plans.

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