Friday, 15 April 2016

The Prince formerly known as Consort

He's always been full of surprises and Henrik of Denmark has just sprung another one. He is no longer using the title of Prince Consort. The news was confirmed after the guest list for the State Dinner during the Mexico visit listed him as Prince Henrik.

His Royal Highness the Prince Henrik of Denmark

The prince, who has said on more than one occasion and quite loudly, that he thinks he should be king now wants to be 'just prince' if it is possible to be 'just' a prince. It comes as he radically scales back his public appearances - his wife, Queen Margrethe II, announced his retirement in her New Year's speech and his participation in the Mexico State Visit was a bit of an unknown until the last minute.

By the side of his queen but no longer a Prince Consort - Henrik of Denmark at the start of the Mexico State Visit this week

He is now known as His Royal Highness The Prince Henrik and that is how he appears on the royal family's website.

Just Henrik - the new entry about the prince on the Danish Royal Family website

He was born Henri Marie Jean Andre de Laborde de Monpezat in 1934 in France and became a prince when he married Margrethe in 1967. He was officially given the title of Prince Consort in 2005 after publicly complaining several times about not being a king. In 2002, he had headed off to France when he felt that his position was undermined when his son, Crown Prince Frederik, stepped in to host a reception when the Queen of Denmark was ill. Henrik had only recently argued again for husbands of queens becoming kings.

An official portrait from 1997 of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and her consort, Prince Henrik of Denmark

The decision to change his title is his alone, says a spokesperson, and has already taken effect. It's surprised many but then perhaps that shouldn't be a surprise itself. The prince formerly known as consort has always kept people on their toes.

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