As mourning church bells tolled throughout the nation, cannons fired in final salute outside Copenhagen’s Christiansborg Palace Church on Tuesday morning.
Sixty carefully chosen guests attended the controversial royal‘s intimate 45-minute funeral service.
Although an occasionally divisive figure, the prince’s death has united the Scandinavian country’s population in support of his 77-year-old widow Queen Margrethe II, who was in tears during the ceremony, and their elder son Crown Prince Frederik, 49.
In recent years, the prince has made headlines for his displeasure with the title he was given in the Danish royal family. Married to Queen Margrethe, he is a prince consort, not a king, as is traditional for men married to female monarchs. However, Henrik thought that this was unfair, and even cried gender discrimination, and that he should have the title of King Consort.
In August 2017, Henrik said he refused to be buried next to his wife when his time comes, in a designed-just-for-them sarcophagus at Roskilde Cathedral in Denmark.
“If she wants to bury me with her, she must make me a king consort,” he told Se og Hør. “Finished. I do not care.”
More than 19,000 members of the public filed past his closed coffin during the past three days, as it lay within a castrum doloris, the catafalque guarded by representatives of Denmark’s Air Force, Army, Navy and Civil Defence.
Following a memorial service commemorating Prince Henrik’s life on Monday night, the royal family hosted a palace reception for some 200 friends and courtiers — where they were joined by the prince’s three dachshunds, Nelly, Tilla and Helike.
Doctors diagnosed Henrik with pneumonia at the end of January while he was traveling in Egypt. He was hurriedly transported back to Copenhagen, where tests revealed a tumor in his left lung. Although a biopsy confirmed it was benign, he contracted an infection, and his condition had “greatly worsened.”
The palace said that the family was respecting his wish not to be buried in a tomb prepared for him and Margrethe in Roskilde Cathedral. Instead, his ashes are due to be scattered later this month: half within the precincts of Fredensborg Palace, where he died on February 13 at the age of 83, surrounded by his wife and family.
Reflecting his life-long love of sailing, the remainder will be scattered within Danish waters to the open sea.