Prince Henrik

Prince Henrik of Denmark 11.06.1934-13.02.2018


Prince Henrik was born on 11 June 1934 in Talence, Gironde, France. He was the son of Count André de Laborde de Monpezat (d. 1998) and Countess Renée de Monpezat, née Doursennot (d. 2002). Prince Henrik passed away on 13 February 2018.

On 10 June 1967, the Heir Apparent to the Danish throne, Princess Margrethe, married Henri Marie Jean André Count de Laborde de Monpezat, who in connection with the marriage became HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark. The wedding ceremony took place in Holmens Kirke (the naval church) and the wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace.

HM King Frederik X (Frederik André Henrik Christian), born on 26 May 1968, and HRH Prince Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian, born on 7 June 1969.

HM Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik's wedding. Photo: Erik Petersen, Polfoto ©
On 19 May, Prince Henrik participated in the opening of the new kindergarten classes at Prince Henrik's School. Photo: Philip Davali, Polfoto ©


Educational background
Prince Henrik spent his first five years in Vietnam, then known as French Indo-China, where his father was in charge of family interests in industrial enterprises, etc. founded by his grandfather at the turn of the century. In 1939, the family returned to the family residence, le Cayrou, in Cahors. Having received instruction at home until 1947, Prince Henrik subsequently studied at the Jesuit boarding school in Bordeaux. In the period 1948-1950, Prince Henrik attended upper secondary school in Cahors. The Prince returned to Hanoi in 1950 and graduated from the French upper secondary school in Hanoi in 1952. In the period 1952- 1957, Prince Henrik studied law and political science at the Sorbonne, Paris, while simultaneously studying Chinese and Vietnamese at École Nationale des Langues Orientales. Having studied Oriental languages in Hong Kong in 1957, Prince Henrik subsequently studied in Saigon in 1958.

Business background
Prince Henrik had a background in the diplomatic service. In 1962, The Prince worked within the Asia Department of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from 1963 to 1967, he was a Secretary to the French Embassy in London.

Relation to the Defence
Prince Henrik performed his military service with the infantry in Algeria in the period 1959-1962. The Prince held the honorary rank of General and Admiral in the Danish Defence.

The mother tongue of Prince Henrik was French, but he quickly learned Danish after moving to Denmark. In addition, Prince Henrik spoke English, Chinese and Vietnamese.

In 2014, Prince Henrik unveiled his sculpture "Dronningen" (The Queen) in Gråsten. Photo: Henning Bagger, Ritzau Scanpix ©
Reading of The Prince's poems. Photo: Maria Hald, Ritzau Scanpix ©

Patronages and honorary memberships

Prince Henrik was patron of many national organisations, institutions, and foundations and was an honorary member of various associations and societies.

Artistic work

Publications and translations
Under the assumed name of H.M. Vejerbjerg, Prince Henrik together with HM Queen Margrethe translated Simone de Beauvoir’s "Tous les hommes sont mortels” into Danish in 1981. In 1982, Prince Henrik published ”Chemin faisant" (a volume of French poems). "Destin oblige", a book of memoirs by Prince Henrik, was published in 1996, and in 1999, The Prince published his favourite recipes in the book "Ikke Altid Gåselever" (Not Always Goose Liver) together with Jakob Johannsen. In 2000,The Prince published a collection of poems called "Cantabile" and, in 2003, "Les escargots de Marie Lanceline". In 2004, Prince Henrik published "Chateau de Caïx" and "Fotos fra Prins Henriks private album". It was also published in French as "Intimité royale".

In 2005, Prince Henrik published a collection of poems under the French title "Murmures de vent" and under the Danish title "Hviskende brise". In 2005, The Prince also published the cookery book "Til glæde for ganen - nye opskrifter til et kongeligt køkken". In 2007 came the culture-history book "Absolutely Magnifique – French Chefs at the Danish Court", which Prince Henrik wrote together with historian Barbara Zalewski. Published in 2009 was "Bruises on the Soul", a poetry collection in French, Greenlandic and Danish. The book is based on poems from "Hviskende brise" and was written together with artist Kristian Olsen aaju and author Peter Poulsen. In 2010, a poetry collection titled "Roue-libre" in French and "Frihjul" in Danish came out. The poems were re-created by Peter Poulsen, and the book was illustrated by The Queen and artist Maja Lisa Engelhardt. And in 2011 a poetry collection titled "Fabula" came out and in 2013 the poetry collection titled "La part des anges".