Tuesday, 20 February 2018

True Royal Romance

Let's close the day with a gesture of true love that will sing for years to come. As Prince Henrik of Denmark was laid to rest, he had one final moment of romance for his wife of 50 years, Queen Margrethe II. As she walked into the church where she would say her final farewell to her husband. she found the wreaths arranged as a ''blooming garden'' - on Henrik's instructions. On their wedding day, the prince had spoken of his new home as that garden and his bride, always known to her family as Daisy, as the most beautiful flower of all. Henrik, the poet prince, made sure his queen knew how loved she was by him right to the very end.

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If you've got whatever that is out of your eye, you're a better person than me cos I still can't look at that garden without getting ever so slightly teary. Henrik and Margrethe were always clearly devoted to one another. They had their ups and downs but they still clearly adored one another. And as she stood in the Christiansborg Chapel on this hardest of days, Margrethe, Queen of Denmark, could take comfort from the fact that her prince's love for her was on his mind to the very last moment.

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The funeral of Prince Henrik was a small and simple event, at his request. Around sixty people gathered in the chapel, the mourners led by Margrethe and her two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim. Close family and friends paid their respects and while wreaths came from royalty across Europe, including the Swedish and Norwegian ruling houses, the only foreign royal at the service, which was led by Erik Norman Svendsen, was Constantine of Greece who was Henrik's brother in law through his marriage to Margrethe's sister, Anne Marie. It was broadcast on Danish TV but as the final preparations to carry Henrik to his rest were made at the end of the ceremony, the cameras withdrew allowing his family to say their last farewells alone.

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It was a hard day for all of them but one filled with special touches showing the deep affection this royal family shares every day. Frederik and Joachim travelled to their father's funeral in his car while some of the royal orders Henrik had been presented with during his time as husband and consort were on display in the chapel. And to show the many strands that had made his life and his family, the earth that was scattered on Henrik's coffin at the end of his funeral came from both his birth country, France, and his adopted home, Denmark. In that wedding speech, he said he had left a land of flowers for the blooming garden but what he clearly treasured above all was that most beautiful flower. His  final gesture of love for the queen who had won his heart and treasured him for over half a century was perhaps the most touching moment of all on a day when Denmark said farewell to a prince and a wife said goodbye to her true love.

Photo credit: kongehuset.dk

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