Death of Prince Henrik of Denmark poses burial dilemma

Oslo’s Royal Palace Wednesday

Oslo’s Royal Palace Wednesday

Denmark's Prince Henrik has died at 83, taking to the grave his resentment at playing second fiddle to his wife, Queen Margrethe.

Last August, Henrik was embroiled in a controversy after he announced when he died he didn't want to be buried next to Margrethe in the cathedral where the remains of Danish royals rest for centuries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark over the death of Prince Consort Henrik, the Kremlin press service said on Wednesday.

"His Royal Highness Prince Henrik died on Tuesday, February 13, at 23.18 quietly at Fredensborg Palace", the royal family said in a statement. "The Prince was surrounded by Her Majesty the Queen and their two sons".

Born Henri Marie Jean Andre de Laborde de Monpezat on June 11, 1934, in Talence, near Bordeaux, the future Danish prince spent much of his youth in Vietnam, then a part of Indochina, where his father was a businessman.

He studied law and politics at Paris-Sorbonne University as well as at the French National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations.

He went on to become a diplomat and met Margrethe - who was then crown princess - while he was stationed in London. His family was left anxious when he publicly said he no longer wanted to be buried alongside his wife, Queen Margrethe.

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After being hospitalized for a lung infection last month, the prince was discharged Tuesday to spend his "last days" at home, according to Danish media.

Upon marrying her, he changed his name to Henrik, converted from Catholicism to Protestantism and renounced his French citizenship to become a Dane.

Margrethe became monarch in 1972. She was crowned queen five years later.

In some interviews he said he would have preferred to be known as "king", and made headlines back in 2002 when he appeared unhappy to be ranked third behind his son, Crown Prince Frederik.

The palace did say however that he wished to be buried in Denmark. In latest years, he said on numerous occasions that he was frustrated with his life in Denmark and the title of prince consort, which he waived after his official retirement in late 2015. Shortly afterwards, the palace announced he had dementia.

The royal couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in private in 2017.

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