Prince Henrik, husband of Denmark's Queen Margrethe II, dies

Royal Central

Denmark's Prince Henrik, the husband of Queen Margrethe II, died on late Tuesday night, the palace announced early Wednesday.

In a statement, the Danish Royal House confirmed that the French-born prince died "peacefully in his sleep", two weeks after being diagnosed with a benign tumour.

The father-in-law of Crown Princess Mary passed away at his home inside Fredensborg Palace on Tuesday evening local time, according to The Royal House of Denmark.

The French-born prince had been hospitalised following an illness that began during a private trip to Egypt. She was later crowned the Queen in January 1972.

The prince, who was diagnosed with dementia past year and was hospitalised last month with a lung infection, died "peacefully in his sleep" with the queen and their two sons by his side at Fredensborg Castle, north of Copenhagen.

He had often spoken of his frustration at being denied the title of King instead of Prince Consort.

He made headlines previous year when he claimed in an interview that he didn't want to be buried alongside his wife because she never made him King Consort.

"The royal family has lost an anchor", Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said in a statement, who said Henrik "kept his good spirits till the end".

Both the queen and Prince Henrik have said they would have wished for more time together and with their sons before having to take on the many official duties that ensued when she became monarch.

The following month, the palace announced that the prince was suffering from dementia and that the impact was assessed to be "greater than expected" for his age.

Born Henri Marie Jean Andre de Laborde de Monpezat in France in 1934, he married Margrethe in 1967.

"People are just used to considering Prince Henrik as. a little dog that follows behind and gets a sugar cube once in a while", he said.

To a Danish tabloid, he said the royal staff had shunted him into "third place in the royal hierarchy". His eldest son, Crown Prince Frederik, left the Winter Olympics and returned to Denmark to be by his father's side on February 9.

Before marrying Queen Margrethe, he served in the French Army in the Algerian War and worked for the French Foreign Affairs ministry at the French Embassy in London.

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