Danish queen, husband in burial spat
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.