Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark
The Prince Consort at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, 19 June 2010
|Prince Consort of Denmark|
|Tenure||14 January 1972 – present|
|Spouse||Margrethe II of Denmark|
|Issue||Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark
|House||House of Monpezat|
|Father||André de Laborde de Monpezat|
|Mother||Renée Yvonne Doursenot|
11 June 1934 |
Talence, Gironde, France
|Religion||Church of Denmark
prev. Roman Catholic
|Danish Royal Family|
HM The Queen
Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark (Danish pronunciation: [ˈhɛnˀʁæɡ̊]; born Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat 11 June 1934), is the husband of Queen Margrethe II. Henrik married Margrethe, then heir presumptive to the Danish throne, at the Naval Church of Copenhagen on 10 June 1967. The couple have two sons, Crown Prince Frederik (born 1968) and Prince Joachim (born 1969). Henrik became Prince Consort of Denmark when his wife succeeded her father, King Frederick IX, to the throne on 14 January 1972.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Marriage
- 3 Poetry
- 4 Titles
- 5 Honours and awards
- 6 Ancestry
- 7 Publications
- 8 Notes and references
- 9 External links
Henrik was born in Talence, Gironde, France. He was the son of André de Laborde de Monpezat (Mont-de-Marsan, 6 May 1907 – Le Cayrou, 23 February 1998) and his wife, Renée Doursenot (Périgueux, 26 October 1908 – Le Cayrou, 11 February 2001) (married religiously in Cahors, 6 January 1934 and civilly in Cahors, 22 January 1948), who was previously married firstly civilly in Paris on 29 September 1928 and divorced at the Tribunal Civil Français de Saigon on 21 September 1940 Louis Leuret (Châteauneuf-sur-Loire, 18 March 1881 – Saigon, South Vietnam, 29 December 1962). He was raised Catholic.
He spent his first five years in French Indochina (now Vietnam), where his father looked after family business interests. He returned to Hanoi in 1950, graduating from the French secondary school there in 1952. Between 1952 and 1957 he simultaneously studied law and political science at the Sorbonne, Paris, and Chinese and Vietnamese at the École Nationale des Langues Orientales (now known as INALCO). He also studied in Hong Kong in 1957 and Saigon in 1958.
After military service with the French Army in the Algerian War between 1959 and 1962, he joined the French Foreign Affairs ministry in 1962, working as a Secretary at the embassy in London from 1963 to 1967.
On 10 June 1967 he married Princess Margrethe, the heir presumptive to the Danish throne, at the Naval Church of Copenhagen. At the time of the wedding his name was Danicised to Henrik and he was created HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark. Before the wedding, the Prince converted to Protestantism.
The Queen and The Prince Consort have two children and eight grandchildren:
- His Royal Highness Frederik André Henrik Christian, Crown Prince of Denmark, born on 26 May 1968. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Donaldson (born 5 February 1972) on 14 May 2004 at Copenhagen Cathedral, Copenhagen. The couple has four children:
- His Royal Highness Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John of Denmark, born on 15 October 2005
- Her Royal Highness Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe of Denmark, born on 21 April 2007
- His Royal Highness Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander of Denmark, born on 8 January 2011
- Her Royal Highness Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda of Denmark, born on 8 January 2011
- His Royal Highness Prince Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian of Denmark, born on 7 June 1969. He was married to Alexandra Christina Manley (born on 30 June 1964) on 18 November 1995 at Frederiksborg Palace Church, Hillerød. They divorced on 8 April 2005. He was married to Marie Agathe Odile Cavallier (born on 6 February 1976) on 24 May 2008 at Møgeltønder Church, Møgeltønder. Joachim has four children:
- His Highness Prince Nikolai William Alexander Frederik of Denmark, born on 28 August 1999
- His Highness Prince Felix Henrik Valdemar Christian of Denmark, born on 22 July 2002
- His Highness Prince Henrik Carl Joachim Alain of Denmark, born on 4 May 2009
- Her Highness Princess Athena Marguerite Françoise Marie of Denmark, born on 24 January 2012
Prince Henrik's native language is French, and his second language is Danish. Although he quickly learned Danish after marrying Margrethe, Danes still joke about his grasp of Danish and his thick French accent. He also speaks fluent English, Chinese, and Vietnamese.
2002 "flight" from Denmark
In 2002, Henrik left Denmark and went to stay at the couple's Château de Caïx in Cahors in southern France. The reason for Henrik's departure from Denmark was due to a New Year's Day reception in which his son, Crown Prince Frederik, was appointed host in the absence of Queen Margrethe. Henrik felt "pushed aside, degraded and humiliated" at the fact that he was relegated to "third place in the royal hierarchy."
"For many years I have been Denmark's number two," he said. "I've been satisfied with that role, but I don't want to be relegated to number three after so many years." Henrik "fled" Denmark to reflect on his status in the Danish Royal Family. Queen Margrethe flew to France to meet with her husband. Henrik stressed that neither his wife nor son were to blame for the incident. The Prince Consort spent three weeks in Caix, and did not appear with his wife as expected at the wedding of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, and Máxima Zorreguieta. After three weeks, Henrik returned to Denmark and resumed his royal duties.
On 30 April 2008, shortly before the wedding of his younger son, Prince Joachim, to Miss Marie Cavallier, the title "Count of Monpezat" (Danish: Greve af Monpezat) was conferred by the Queen on both of her sons, and made hereditary for their male-line descendants, both male and female. The Queen's Private Secretary Henning Fode commented, "The Queen and the Prince Consort have considered this for quite some time, and it has led to the belief that it was the right thing to do."
In fact, Henrik had mentioned this possibility as long ago as 1996, in his published memoir, "During our generation the future sovereign will perhaps receive approval to see 'Monpezat' added to the dynastic name of 'Oldenburg-Glücksburg'". While being interviewed by the French weekly Point de Vue in October 2005, Henrik raised the issue shortly after the birth of Crown Prince Frederik's first son, Prince Christian, who is expected to inherit the Danish crown one day: "It also makes him very proud and happy that Monpezat will be added to this small grandson's future name as Prince of Denmark. 'It is a great joy for me that his French roots will also be remembered.'" Although no announcement was made at that time, Prince Christian does now include (part of) his French grandfather's surname among his hereditary titles. The grant does not extend this Danish comital title to Henrik himself.
Henrik has written many poems in his native language French, some of which has been published in the poetry collections; Chemin faisant (1982), Cantabile (2000), Les escargots de Marie Lanceline (2003), Murmures de vent (2005), and Frihjul (Roue-Libre, 2010). The symphonic suite Cantabile by Frederik Magle is based on Henrik's poetry collection Cantabile.
Henrik has said about writing poetry (translated from Danish): "I see poetry as an opportunity for immersion in a superficial time dominated by news and entertainment that makes us rootless and restless. Poetry takes us closer to the true nature of the world, in poetry we can approach the eternal questions such as love, loneliness and death."
Titles and styles
- 11 June 1934 – 10 June 1967: Count* Henri de Laborde de Monpezat
- 10 June 1967 – 2005: His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Denmark
- 2005 – present: His Royal Highness The Prince Consort of Denmark
* Use is disputed, see section "French title controversy" below
French title controversy
The Laborde de Monpezat family style themselves as counts, though their right to the use of that title is disputed: The Encyclopédie de la fausse noblesse et de la noblesse d'apparence (English: Encyclopedia of False and Seeming Nobility) states that Prince Henrik's ancestor, Jean Laborde, received royal letters patent of ennoblement in 1655, conditional on his reception as a noble in the Estates of the province of Béarn where his lands were located. But this condition was never fulfilled, as the Estates refused Laborde's petitions in 1703 and again in 1707. The family's surname was "Monpezat" by the time of the French Revolution, without title, until 14 July 1860, when it was changed by imperial decree to "de Laborde-Monpezat", and legally changed again on 19 May 1861 to "de Laborde de Monpezat". Although the comital title has been used by the family as if it were a titre de courtoisie, traditionally the royal court and French society accepted such titles when used by genuinely noble families. Since the title was assumed by Henrik's ancestor prior to the twentieth century, it is possible he was unaware of the misuse until his family's history was scrutinized by genealogists after his engagement. Henrik's 1996 autobiography acknowledges the unsuccessful ennoblement.
Royal spouses and titles
Danish law never specified that royal spouses be of aristocratic origin. Nonetheless, no prince's marriage to a person who lacked male-line descent from royalty or titled nobility had been accepted as dynastic by the sovereign in the course of Denmark's history as a hereditary monarchy, prior to Crown Princess Margrethe's marriage in June 1967. Six months later, Margrethe's cousin Prince Ingolf of Denmark wed an untitled commoner and was demoted to a count, and another cousin, Prince Christian of Denmark, also wed a Dane, Anne Dorte Maltoft-Nielsen, in 1971, forfeiting his dynastic position. Christian later commented on the dynasty's marital rules in the Danish periodical, Billed-Bladet:
As protocol dictates, I had to ask my uncle, King Frederick IX, if he had any objections to my getting engaged ... I knew I would have to renounce my title of prince and my right of succession if I married her. I was number four in the line of succession after Princess Margrethe, Princess Benedikte, and my father. My brother, Ingolf, had two years previously lost his princely title and succession right when he married a commoner, Countess Inge. Now I was ready to follow him. To me, it didn't matter if I were in line for the throne or not... My uncle, of course, had nothing against a union between Anne Dorte and me.
Honours and awards
- France : Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour (He frequently wears it with Danish honours)
- France : Grand Cross of the Order of Merit
- France : Commander of the Order of Agricultural Merit
- France : Médaille d'commemorative Algeria
- Austria : Grand Star of the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria (1979) 
- Belgium : Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold 
- Brazil : Grand Cross of Order of the Southern Cross
- Bulgaria : Cordon of the Order of Stara Planina (2006)
- Croatia : Grand Order of Queen Jelena
- Egypt : 1st class of the Order of the Nile
- Estonia : Recipient First Class of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana 
- Finland : Grand Cross of the Finnish Order of the White Rose
- Greece : Grand Crosses of the Order of Honour 
- Iceland : Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon (2 September 1970)
- Italy : Grand Cross of the Italian Republic Order of Merit (8 November 1977)
- Japan : Grand Cross of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
- Jordan : Grand Cross of Supreme Order of the Renaissance
- Germany : Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Latvia : Grand Cross of the Order of the Three Stars
- Lithuania: Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great (1996)
- Luxembourg : Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau 
- Morocco : Grand Cordon of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite
- Mexico : Band of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
- Netherlands : Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
- Nepal : Knight of the Order of Ojaswi Rajanya
- Norway : Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav
- Poland : Grand Decoration of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
- Portugal : Grand Cross of the Order of Christ
- Portugal : Grand Cross of the Order of Aviz
- Romania : Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania
- Romania : 1st Class 23 August-order
- Saudi Arabia : 1st class of Order of Abdulaziz al Saud
- Slovakia: First Class (Grand Cross) of the Order of the White Double Cross
- South Korea : Grand Gwanghwa Medal (1st Class) of the Order of Diplomatic Service Merit
- Spain : Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III (15 March 1980)
- Sweden : Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim
- Sweden: HM King Carl XVI Gustaf 50th Anniversary Medal (30 April 1996)
- Sweden: Commemorative Ruby Jubilee Medal of His Majesty The King (15 September 2013)
- Thailand : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Chula Chom Klao 
- United Kingdom : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
- United Kingdom : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George
- United Kingdom : Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
- Yugoslavia : Grand Cross of the Order of the Yugoslav Star
|Ancestors of Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark|
Prince Henrik has translated several books into Danish, as well as publishing several other books.
- In 1981, under the pseudonym H.M. Vejerbjerg he and the Queen translated Simone de Beauvoir's Tous les hommes sont mortels.
- Chemin faisant, 1982, a volume of French poems.
- Destin oblige, 1996, his memoirs as Prince Consort.
- Ikke Altid Gåselever (not always foie gras), 1999, a selection of favourite recipes.
- Cantabile, 2000, poems.
- Les escargots de Marie Lanceline, 2003.
- Murmures de vent, 2005, poems.
- Frihjul, 2010, poems.
Notes and references
- Barbara, Augustin (1989). Marriage across frontiers. Multilingual Matters. ISBN 1-85359-041-X. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
- "Runaway prince returns home". BBC News. 13 February 2002. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- "'Degraded' Danish prince takes time out". BBC News. 5 February 2002. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- "Monpezat til Frederik og Joachim". Berlingske Tidende. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Henrik prince de Danemark, Destin Oblige, 1996, 102
- Levinsen, Niels (B.T.). "Henrik fulgte Mary time for time" (in Danish). Retrieved 2008-06-17. Check date values in:
- Dioudonnat, Pierre-Marie, Encyclopédie de la fausse noblesse et de la noblesse d'apparence, Paris, Sedopols, 1976–79 (2 vols), French, p.208
- Joseph Valynseele, Les de Laborde de Monpezat et leurs alliances, Paris, chez l'Auteur, 1975, French
- Velde, François. "Nobility and Titles in France". Heraldica.org. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
- Huberty, Michel; Alain Giraud; F. and B. Magdelaine (1994). L'Allemagne Dynastique Tome VII Oldenbourg (in French). France. pp. passim. ISBN 2-901138-07-1.
- Billed-Bladet, (Interview with Count Christian of Rosenborg), 1985, Danish
- "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (pdf) (in German). p. 552. Retrieved November 2012.
- Photos : Paola & Henrik, Group photo
- Photo of the royal and presidential couples
- Official website of the President of Estonia (Estonian), Estonian State Decorations - Prints Hendrik
- Belga Pictures, State visit of Greece in Denmark, 05/2009, Henrik & Mary
- Royal Forums, Article on state visit
- Icelandese Presidency Website , Henrik Danaprins ; prins ; Danmörk ; 1970-09-02 ; Stórkross (= Henrik Prince Consort, , Denmark, 2 September 1970, Grand Cross)
- The Royal Forums, State visit in Japan, 2004, Emperor Akihito & Prince Henrik
- Lithuanian Presidency, Lithuanian Orders searching form
- The royal forums, Grand-Dukes' state visit to Denmark, October 2003 : Photo 1, Photo 2
- Official decree, 13/02/2008
- Photo of the Danish Royal couple with the Slovakian Presidential couple
- Noblesse et Royautes, ODM of South Korea (& South Korea Honour System)
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
- Ruby Jubilee in Sweden
- Photo of Henrik and Bhumibol
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Henrik, Prince Consort of DenmarkBorn: 11 June 1934
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|Prince Consort of Denmark
(official Prince Consort from 2005)
14 January 1972 – present