Denmark's Prince Henrik, who wanted to be king, dies at 83

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Media captionQueen Margrethe married Prince Henrik in 1967

Prince Henrik of Denmark, the husband of Queen Margrethe who was famous for his public unhappiness at never being named king, has died at the age of 83.

The French-born prince had returned to Fredensborg Castle, north of Copenhagen, after being in hospital with an infection.

The prince was a controversial figure and his flamboyant style was both loved and criticised by Danes.

In 2017, he announced that he did not want to be buried next to his wife.

He was frustrated that she had never acknowledged him as her equal.

The queen, 77, is said to have accepted her husband’s decision, which broke a 459-year-old tradition.

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Prince Henrik spoke with a thick French accent, and was known for his love of food, wine and poetry

The prince died “peacefully in his sleep” at the castle with Queen Margrethe and their two sons at his side, the Royal House announced.

He had been diagnosed with dementia last year and had recently had a lung infection.

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Prince Henrik was born Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat in 1934, and married the then-crown princess Margrethe in 1967.

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Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik at the Anglo-Danish Society’s Jubilee dinner in London in 1974

She became queen in 1972 and over the years Prince Henrik made no secret that he was unhappy at never having his royal role changed.

Many Danes disliked him for that, seeing it as a sign of an arrogant man hungry for recognition.

But in recent years, many youngsters thought his manner represented a break from the norms of cultural uniformity in Danish society.

In 2016, he retired from official duties, renouncing the title of Prince Consort. In the time since, he was often in France at his private vineyard.

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Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe pictured in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in 2015

He spoke with a thick French accent and was known for his love of food, wine and poetry.

Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe have two sons – Crown Prince Frederick and Prince Joachim.

Crown Prince Frederick returned from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea last week to be with his ailing father.

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