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  #61  
Old 01-01-2016, 02:51 AM
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He may be upset about his title, but it must be something serious going on for him to make this kind of move. I'm just saying consorts don't do something like this over a title. His health must be a major factor here.

Most consorts don't. Most consorts also don't make disparaging remarks about the people they represent, flee the country before their spouse's milestone birthday, and try to appropriate social causes to whinge about only being the third most important person in the country instead of the second most important.


Prince Henrik, however...


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Old 01-01-2016, 03:00 AM
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Most consorts don't. Most consorts also don't make disparaging remarks about the people they represent, flee the country before their spouse's milestone birthday, and try to appropriate social causes to whinge about only being the third most important person in the country instead of the second most important.


Prince Henrik, however...


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He may have an issue with his title, I highly doubt he would back out his commitment in supporting his aging wife over it. It seems like his health is the factor in this. It's better to listen to ones body than to push it just to satisfy everybody else. I don't even follow the Danish royals that much to see he's not at his best health.
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  #63  
Old 01-01-2016, 03:10 AM
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He may have an issue with his title, I highly doubt he would back out his commitment in supporting his aging wife over it. It seems like his health is the factor in this. It's better to listen to ones body than to push it just to satisfy everybody else. I don't even follow the Danish royals that much to see he's not at his best health.

If you followed them more closely, you'd see that his lack of support for his wife and the Danish people has a fairly long history.

Personally, I didn't have an opinion on him one way or the other until he started complaining about his lack of king status as a gender issue.

The man has all the money and most of the prestige he could ever want. He has never, not once in his life, used his considerable privilege to promote gender equality. He could have used his title and his money to work towards rape and domestic violence prevention, child marriage prevention, FGM prevention- but no. He doesn't care about gender equality unless it's to whine about his own precious status and how the Danes just won't show him the respect he feels owed. I have no tolerance for that kind of clueless whine, and I think it's drastically affected how his public image is viewed.

I feel bad for his family, but won't miss his whining.



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  #64  
Old 01-01-2016, 03:30 AM
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He may have an issue with his title, I highly doubt he would back out his commitment in supporting his aging wife over it. It seems like his health is the factor in this. It's better to listen to ones body than to push it just to satisfy everybody else. I don't even follow the Danish royals that much to see he's not at his best health.
I cannot help but disagree here, based on the facts we know about Henrik, his views, acts as of late and behaviour in general. I have a feeling it was last years infamous decision not to partake in the Queens very public and visible birthday celebrations, allegedly due to illness, then showing up in Venice two days later, on holiday, that was the final straw. His gripe about the title might had been justified if handled less sourly, and less personally, but instead as a more principled matter. For a long time now, it has seemed to me that he simply has not enjoyed his role, or performed it very selflessly and well, towards the people and on behalf of his family.
If this was for healthreasons, the Queen would had found a discreet way to mention it in her speech. It is not. He is a mature man, but other than being quite overweight and walking with a cane, he has no known healthissues. He would also not keep his patronages etc, if he was in cognitive decline. He would not be able to keep serving their cause if he was on a predictable decline.

I am quite sure that this process is not entirely his own. His erratic behaviour lately, his sour disposition and his clear unwillingness to accept the systemic disparity of a wife becoming queen if married to a king, but not vice versa, I think finally told the Queen, the RF and quite possibly senior members of the cabinet that it might be time to allow the Prince Consort go end his public life with dignity, instead of having his entire career scarred by his inability to toe the line.

I must say, I don't quite sympathise much with a very privileged man, who has more in life than most people can or will ever have, being repetitive, tiresome and visibly uninterested in public. When he left the Queen alone last year to celebrate her birthday with the Danish people, who respect her very much, to go on holiday, I thought it became clear that his role as Consort seemed over.

The systemic injustice however, of women becoming Queen Consorts, but men being Prince Consorts, will at some point need to be properly adressed. The short statement of the Queen in her speech however, that did not explain the reasons why the Prince Consort is retiring from public life, makes it clear to me that for whatever reasons this decision was made, it was the right call.

We needn't worry about the Queen resigning though. It is not in her nature, it is not part of the Danish way of monarchy and I'm quite sure she will work even harder now, to ensure that there is no grounds for rumours in that direction in the years to come.
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  #65  
Old 01-01-2016, 03:42 AM
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Prince Henrik Retiring from Official Duties as of January 1, 2016

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Thank you for posting this; I watched with fascination as she lost her place while reading her speech from the infamous cue cards! Do other members recall this happening before? I wonder if she was unusually tense in having to announce the Prince Consort's retirement? Indeed, as others have mentioned, his timing is not fortuitous and I would not be surprised if non compos mentis may be the cause.

Luckily the queen is surrounded by a supportive family and many friends, so that HM may be quoting Angela Merkel 'Wir schaffen das! to herself. I would love to know the Danish-language equivalent, but will, in any case, wish God Nytar to all!

The Queen has made minor mistakes like getting a few sentences wrong every time the last few years but never as much as this and she was visibly irritated with herself when she got the cue cards mixed up.

That said after the initial muddling she seemed composed and her voice was clear when she read the passage about her husband.


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  #66  
Old 01-01-2016, 03:44 AM
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The Queen has made minor mistakes like getting a few sentences wrong every time the last few years but never as much as this and she was visibly irritated with herself when she got the cue cards mixed up.


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I think you're right- it must have been a very hard speech for her


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  #67  
Old 01-01-2016, 04:38 AM
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Yup, from what I've seen of recent consorts, they are pretty much dedicated in supporting their spouses (King or Queen) for as long as they possibly can. I don't see him retiring over a title, but only due to health and for the concern over his well being. It's pretty hard for everyone to understand that when it's a job that people expect you to do until old ticker stops. Stepping down with dignity is for the best. The Queen and family support his decision, so should everybody else.

Not even Prince Claus of the Netherlands retired officially. When possible he attended some Events in the Netherlands.
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Old 01-01-2016, 04:43 AM
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Not even Prince Claus of the Netherlands retired officially. When possible he attended some Events in the Netherlands.

The difference between Claus and Henrik is that although Claus complained about the restrictions his position had on him and how it was sometimes hard to cope with the pressure he always supported his wife and the Royal family to the best of his abilities even when not being well at all.


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  #69  
Old 01-01-2016, 04:53 AM
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I think it was a mixture of everything, his age, that he's had enough, that other people had enough of his whining.
'half pulled and half sinking himself', as Goethe would have said.
There is no loss for Denmark.
We will see if this will have an impact on Margrethe in the long run, thinking of her own position and getting more and more frail.
I truly believe that QEII and Philip are keeping each other up, if one of them goes I don't believe the other one will pull through for a long time.
Henrik is by far not Philip, but with the spouse now taking a very different turn with lifestyle etc Margrethe might not pull through until 80. It will be a different feeling after so many years going on a state visit on her own with regard to Henrik being absent, not being able to share impressions, work, support.
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  #70  
Old 01-01-2016, 05:01 AM
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IIt will be a different feeling after so many years going on a state visit on her own with regard to Henrik being absent, not being able to share impressions, work, support.
Perhaps the Crown pricnely Couple will now accompany on State Visits abroad like Willem-Alexander and Máxima accompnaied Queen Beatrix most of the time. But then the danish Royal Couple does not make much State Visits abroad. Not more then 1 or 2 a year.

Have now seen in the Press Accredition for the New Years Courts that he will b e present today but not at the Courts on 05. and 06. January.
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  #71  
Old 01-01-2016, 05:06 AM
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I wonder if he'd be doing this if he was a King Consort...
LOL!!!

Also,I was thinking maybe he doesn't wish to run here.there and everywhere by request of the present Danish government,the latter being very a-social and ultra right.....the first shouldn't bother him,but the latter might be a tad too much for dear Henri.Just guessing..
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  #72  
Old 01-01-2016, 05:11 AM
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yes, it must have been a difficult address for HM! IMO there's more to this than meets the eye whether It's about cognitive decline or his recent petulant behaviour or ....whatever! The Royal court must have realized that they had an increasing problem on their hands. I'm with those believing that this decision wasn't entirely his own! Royalty just don't 'retire'....

Wishing all TRFers a happy and prosperous New Year!

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  #73  
Old 01-01-2016, 05:36 AM
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I never understood the discussion on the title. I mean, we as women would complain if we would be unjustibly treated in gender matters. To that point, I think the prince is right in his claims. I never was very much interested in him and I do not know to which extend he is a good royal and serving his country by supporting his wife, but when we talk about emancipation, we need to respect both sides. This is my firm belief.

Why a commoner like Mary can be queen one day and Henrik - who is of noble blood as I think - can not, I am not able to explain.
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  #74  
Old 01-01-2016, 05:41 AM
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The same happened to Queen Beatrix, when her spouse, Prince Claus, felt ill in 1982. For the rest of his life the Prince never fully recovered and he was more not there than that he was there.

The retreat of Prince Henrik also reminds me to the letter written by Princess Juliana in 1999, shortly before her 90th birthday, in which she announced to retreat from public life. The former Queen stated in her letter "giving acte de présence in public is no longer possible due to my advanced age" she also requested the Dutch "instead of paying attention to me, give it to the elderly around you. With that you would do me great favours and I would be grateful to you".

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I never understood the discussion on the title. I mean, we as women would complain if we would be unjustibly treated in gender matters. To that point, I think the prince is right in his claims. I never was very much interested in him and I do not know to which extend he is a good royal and serving his country by supporting his wife, but when we talk about emancipation, we need to respect both sides. This is my firm belief.

Why a commoner like Mary can be queen one day and Henrik - who is of noble blood as I think - can not, I am not able to explain.
The Dutch have it perfectly solved: the head-of-state is The King (Queen). The consort is Prince (Princess) of the Netherlands. No matter the gender. Soit. More equal and gender neutral is not possible.

But then came the abdication in 2013 and suddenly Parliamentarians began meddling with the very own rules they have set in the Royal House Act 2002. (What else is new?) "Should Máxima not become Queen? Isn't it desirable that she is equally treated to other spouses of a King?" And yes now sudddenly Máxima "is known as" Queen Máxima but legally is Princess Máxima of the Netherlands..... Grrrr!@#$%&Q!Q. Why can a Government and a Parliament not simply stick to a clear solution they themselves approved in 2002???

Prince Henrik had a point about "discriminated" but at the other side it was "undesirable" (or even legally impossible in some countries) that a consort is "King". So the Dutch regulation as mentioned was very clear: adapted to the Danish situation a male is always a Prince-Consort and a female is always a Princess-Consort. I wished the Dutch would have sticked to their regulation to set a precedent in Europe. Then Camilla would possibly also be a Princess-Consort and it becomes less alien.
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  #75  
Old 01-01-2016, 06:19 AM
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Well, this sure has been the talk of the town here in DK!

It's the first time in modern times (say about 150 years) that a consort has officially retired.
Everybody has an opinion and every more or less expertly expert has been asked for a comment...
According to the statement form the court PH will basically only take part in gala-dinners and welcoming visiting dignitaries and perhaps take part in the odd event he think could be fun.

It came as a bombshell! That may mean something or it may simply be practical to say from today PH has retired.
But so sudden? And without PH saying so in an interview and without a last event to officially say goodbye?

The reasons for PH retiring goes from:
1) He's 81, old and tired. - The simplest explanation.
2) His mobility is poor. (And he may fall or have already fallen.) - But then QMII's back is bad as well.
3) It's a deliberate "half-abdication" allowing even more room for M&F. - But given PH's... eeh... preference for being number two in the pecking order, that may not be likely.
4) It's a "trial-abdication". Because M&F are now going to be the de facto regent couple with all that entails. If that works well, QMII can retire in a couple of years as well for health reasons allowing for a very smooth transition. - IMO that's hardly necessary as it is. People feel M&F are ready to take over.
5) PH has been diagnosed with a rapidly debilitating physical or mental illness that makes him unable to perform his public duties. - Cancer or Alzheimer springs to mind. - That's my pet-theory.
6) PH has had another "fit". If he can't become king, he doesn't want to play along anymore! - Basically a variation of #5.
7) PH has been "retired out" by QMII. - A variation of #5 & 6. - That may very well have been in agreement with the government.
Better to do it now and let public remember PH while his behavior was still dignified.

- Quite a few, including myself, lean towards 5, 6 & 7. - And several of the more serious expert do point towards PH's somewhat erratic behavior in 2015.

Now what does that mean for the DRF?
IMO M&F are from today the de facto regent couple. We are going to see them a lot from now on!
Statevisits may be reduced to official visits, by M&F.
Or statevisits will now mean M&F will accompany QMII.
Most if not all the traditional "couples-jobs" will be taken over by M&F.
That very much includes the summer cruises and the traditional visits to Greenland and Faeroe Islands.
They may accompany QMII this year, but by 2017 it will be M&F's show entirely.

In other visits and events where we would expect or could expect PH to accompany QMII, I think we will see her being accompanied by someone. That will in all likelihood include J&M. Example: If QMII visit a town jubilee somewhere J&M will go with her. - Because M&F are also busy with their own engagements.
J&M I think will also take over a good deal of PH's protections or at least represent him. M&F have plenty of other things to do, so I think this one will end up on J&M's plate.

To put it brutally: We are going to see what would happen had PH died today and QMII therefore becoming a widow.

I think the general reaction I have heard so far here in DK can be summed up as: Well, it's probably better this way and he does deserve to retire.
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  #76  
Old 01-01-2016, 06:25 AM
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It is just a matter of age, look at the frail King Albert II, the frail King Juan Carlos, the frail Pope Benedict XVI, the frail Prince Henrik, all these gentlemen had visible mobility problems and possibly felt they could no longer execute their role to the own standard they also maintain towards others and then the best decision is to take a step backwards. It is a honourable decision and nothing to be ashamed for. I wish Prince Henrik the best and good times to come.
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  #77  
Old 01-01-2016, 06:36 AM
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I never understood the discussion on the title. I mean, we as women would complain if we would be unjustibly treated in gender matters. To that point, I think the prince is right in his claims. I never was very much interested in him and I do not know to which extend he is a good royal and serving his country by supporting his wife, but when we talk about emancipation, we need to respect both sides. This is my firm belief.

Why a commoner like Mary can be queen one day and Henrik - who is of noble blood as I think - can not, I am not able to explain.
Agree. Because by it's very definition a monarchy is atypical, undemocratic, unegalitarian, very traditional and to a large extent anachronistic. - That's why it works.
For more than a thousand years the word king in Denmark means the (male) monarch, period! It works, so why fix what ain't broken?
It's a title, it makes no difference, PH wouldn't suddenly be able to walk on water just because he was made king. So why confuse things?
Especially as the politicians and general public can't see the reason why and more importantly don't think someone should be awarded a title just because they want it.

Political correctness is the root cause for a lot of the troubles we have in the world today and I think it would erode the monarchy by making a monarchy more egalitarian. A monarchy is anything but egalitarian!

The day may come when say Leonore's husband endears himself so much to the public that there will be a general wish among the population to grant him the title of king-consort, because of his devotion to duty, because they think he deserves it. And that may start a trend. - But not today.

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As one poster said before, because journo's keep asking him about the title issue and he answers. I for one will miss him very much as I find him a colourful character. I would be more inclined to think his health concerns are more related to arthritus pain, hence the need to spend more time in a warmer climate like the Chateau. He has been overweight for so long he could suffer from diabetes as well. Which would be a bit debilitating for someone in their eighties. He is simply getting old and needing to retire.
Exactly. His... ahem... pondus, isn't exactly helping him mobility-wise.
And if he is half dead after an engagement that could indeed detract from the pleasure of working.
But then the golf-car and the wheelchair has been invented. And knowing PH I don't think he minds the extra attention that brings...
He does have a tendency to feel a little bit sorry for himself.

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This announcement has certainly made 2016 an interesting year in Denmark. Looking at the Berlingske photos what a happy, supportive and fortunate relationship they have shared. He seems to feel he deserves some reward for his efforts and this must be harder as F&M assume more responsibilities. Although it's hard to walk in his shoes I hope he appreciates how fortunate his life has been and has encouragement from the work he has been able to do because of his position.
Yeah. It took everyone off guard.
It's a bit weird to read the papers today, they are half-obituaries.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:00 AM
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I'm with Muhler on his 'half-abdication'! -theory! We'll definetely see an increase in the workload of the Crown Princely couple from today. However I'm not fully convinced that it's a 'trial abdication'. I just don't see HM abdicating, even though I'm not opposed to the idea.

Suppose HM abdicated:
She would need a residence, which shouldn't be a major problem.
She would still need to be on the civil list (apanage). Add that to the
apanage of Prince Henrik; I'm not sure that would go down well with the Danish tax payers!

Maybe some of you would suggest that she retire to the French chateaux and paint watercolours on the banks of the Lot-river, but I don't see that happening either! Somehow I don't think that Caix is big enough for both of them for an extended period of time.

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Old 01-01-2016, 07:01 AM
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The next few months are going to be telling.

I expect that we may see him tonight at the grandest of the New Year Courts. According to the press statement from the court he will attend an event like this. He is also listed on the calendar.

But what about QMII & PH's golden anniversary this year?
M&F's copper anniversary? (12½ years and that is traditionally celebrated with a big party here in DK).

If we hardly don't see him at all in the next few months it's IMO because:
A) He is seriously ill and he may not live to see 2017.
B) His mental capabilities are deteriorating - fast! (That includes him "being on strike" because he can't be king. That's irrational behavior.)

If we see a good deal to him at family festivities and otherwise out and about, it's IMO because he has retired of old age.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:22 AM
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It's unfortunate that we can't fast forward 50 years and find out what the definit reason behind this retirement was; i have a feeling that you can write an entire book on the life and antics of P.Henrik...

I feel for Queen Margrethe, this must indeed have been a hard announcement for her...
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