Prince Philip’s dignified withdrawal from public life last week is not mirrored by his counterpart in Denmark, for whom the rôle of second fiddle has long been a bone of contention with his Queen, Margrethe.
Prince Henrik (whose name was modified from the French, Henri) performed his duties as consort for several decades until 15 years ago when his son, Crown Prince Frederik, became first reserve whenever the Queen was unable to turn up. Henri saw it as a slight. More recently he made it known, rather forlornly, that he should be promoted to King; and only last week he announced his burial place would not be alongside his Queen in Roskilde, the traditional resting place of Danish monarchs. He no longer participates in royal events at all. (The above meeting was in March this year.)
Perhaps, if pressed, he would point out that his predicament could never happen to a female consort – witness his son’s Tasmanian spouse: eventually to be Queen Mary (not Maria!) when Frederik accedes. All I can say is, life ain’t easy, Henri.
11 thoughts on “Life ain’t easy”
Prince Hank the Frog has been getting on Denmark’s collective nerves for years. He knew that he would only play second fiddle when he married Margrethe. That is, until the heir came of age in which he’d play third fiddle. Denmark’s constitutional settlement is established. If that was too much for his fragile ego, he should have limited himself to his former plush life in France. Apparently his latest pronouncement has gone down like an Israeli stripper wearing a pork dress at a mosque.
CT, akshully by all accounts, le prince would enjoy your putative stripper!
Janus: In any case, if he doesn’t want to become even less popular he’d best avoid talking too much. He seems to have something of the Trump about him.
Isn’t future Queen Camilla looking utterly fabulous in your photo, Janus?
Now then, JM! My old sidekick, Backside will not be rising to your bait. I have him on a short lead, with apologies for a surfeit of metaphors. And yes, she is indeed. 🙂
And not quite at a tangent……M Macron would like his wife’s rôle as ‘Première Madame’ to be authenticised in French law.
Looks like Macron’s wish is not to be granted. My wish is that Madame M would wear slightly longer skirts to hide the bony knees and is the hair designed to hide some facial surgery scars?
I never understood the need for European heads of state to want to imitate the American “first lady” bit. The US has, for what it’s worth, never really authenticated that position constitutionally, either. I suspect the reason why the US developed the role of “First Lady” is because they lacked a non-political figurehead. The president was certainly never going to be above politics. The president’s spouse, by default, took the ceremonial position assumed by constitutional monarchs.
But soft! Another titbit has been teased out of Henri’s tasty history. In the ’80s he marched into the office of the PM, Poul Schluter and demanded the law be amended forthwith so that he receive 10% of the Queen’s allowances. He refused to leave the office until it was confirmed. A tidy little monthly sum of $100,000! More recently he has been commandeering the royal yacht to pursue his private interests – and not only hunting, shooting and fishing.
He has doubled-down on the burial rhetoric. He seems content to dig his own grave — let him. I quite like Her Majesty, but her husband…
I agree. ‘Droningen’ has the qualities of ERII – dutiful and compassionate.
She is modest, self-effacing and has done much to show a personal touch without being political. I rather admire some of her paintings and contributions to Danish design. She has depth, something that her counterparts in Sweden and Norway sorely lack — although one has hopes for Crown Princess Victoria. Her husband seems to be content to destroy what’s left of the tattered remnants of the ruins of a derelict reputation. Phil the Greek isn’t known for his delicacy or political correctness, but he’s respected for his wit, insights and common sense. Hank the Frog seems to want to provoke the usually placid Danish populace to chase him out with flaming torches and pitchforks. As mild-mannered as they seem, they’re a tenaciously proud lot with a distinctly Hunnish chip on one shoulder and a very Swedish chip on the other. Push criticism or moaning too far — especially as an udlænding who has done well on the public’s back — and limits of tolerance will eventually be found. One wishes him a happy and contented retirement in Frogland.