Denmark’s Prince Henrik, who was known for his resentment at being denied the title of king, has died at the age of 83.
The French-born prince, the husband of Queen Margrethe, died in his sleep on Tuesday and the palace confirmed it would respect his wish to not be buried in a tomb intended for him and his wife – who he said did not acknowledge him as her equal.
He once said he felt “pushed aside, degraded and humiliated” and that his self-respect had been “destroyed”.
In 2016, despite remaining married and officially still living with his wife, he renounced the title of prince consort and spent his days at a chateau on a vineyard in southwestern France.
In August last year, Prince Henrik announced he did not want to be buried next to his wife, breaking a 459-year-old tradition.
The palace said he had dementia following his announcement.
Like most monarchies, a princess in Denmark becomes queen if her husband ascends to the throne but a man does not become king by being married to a queen.
Prince Henrik briefly won support in the Danish parliament as part of a movement which eventually came to nothing, following a referendum in 2009 that backed sexual equality in royal successions.
He said at the time: “I hope that men will be as equal as girls.”
In accordance with the prince’s wishes, his body will instead be cremated, with half of the ashes scattered in Danish waters and the other half buried in the gardens of Fredensborg Castle, near Copenhagen, where he died.
His death comes after he was diagnosed with a benign tumour two weeks ago. He was soon moved from hospital to the castle, where he wanted to spend his final moments.
Prince Henrik, who was also known for his love of wine and food, wrote poetry, made sculptures and wrote cookery books.
He also gained a niche following among young people in Denmark for breaking with Danish norms and remained divisive because of his aristocratic manner.
He leaves behind his wife, whom he married in 1967, and their two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim.
Prince Henrik’s funeral is due to take place on 20 February.