Queen Margrethe of Denmark's husband, Prince Henrik, has passed away at the age of 83. The Danish Royal House confirmed that the prince had died "peacefully in his sleep" on 13 February at 11.18pm at Fredensborg Castle, north of Copenhagen. Queen Margrethe and their two sons were by his side. The news comes shortly after Henrik was transferred from Rigshospitalet to his home of Fredensborg Castle in Copenhagen, where the Danish palace had stated he would spend his final days, calling his condition "serious". The prince was admitted to Rigshospitalet hospital on 28 January, after a tumor was discovered on his left lung. Although the tumor was found to be benign, the father-of-two was left fighting a pulmonary infection, from which he never recovered.
Prince Henrik of Denmark has died at the age of 83
News of Henrik's deteriorating health was first revealed on Friday 9 February when the Danish Palace announced that his son Crown Prince Frederik had decided to cancel his official stay in South Korea to fly back to Denmark to be with his father.
Prince Henrik was hospitalised twice last summer, in both July and August, and in September the Palace revealed that the octogenarian had been diagnosed with dementia. A statement was released on the royal family's official website, which read: "It is with deep regret that Her Majesty The Queen has asked the Lord Chamberlain to announce: Following a longer course of investigation, and most recently, a series of examinations conducted during late summer, a team of specialists at Rigshospitalet has now concluded that His Royal Highness Prince Henrik suffers from dementia."
Prince Henrik pictured with his wife, Queen Margrethe, and their two sons in 1972
It continued: "The diagnosis implies a decline in The Prince’s cognitive functional level. The extent of the cognitive failure is… greater than expected considering the age of the Prince, and can be accompanied by changes in behaviour, reaction patterns, judgement and emotional life and may therefore also affect the interaction with the outside world. As a consequence of the diagnosis, The Prince will further downgrade his future activities, just as patronages and honorary memberships will be considered. It is the wish of The Queen and the Royal Family that the Prince will have the peace and quiet as required by the situation."
The Prince retired from service in 2016 while renouncing his title of Prince Consort. Henrik and Margrethe, who wed in 1967, share two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim. Back in August, Prince Henrik caused a stir by revealing he didn't wish to be buried with his wife at Roskilde Cathedral. In an interview with Se og Hor, he said: "I didn't marry the Queen to be buried at Roskilde. My wife has decided that she wants to be Queen, and I'm very happy about that. But as a human being she needs to know that if a man and wife are married, they are equal."
The royal pictured with his family, including wife Queen Margrethe
Following his comments, a statement from the palace read: "The Queen has for some time been familiar with the decision of His Royal Highness and acknowledges the decision. The Prince's decision does not change the Queen's funeral plans. The Prince's wish to be buried in Denmark remains, but the circumstances are not yet in place."