Henrik’s complaints about his title and position have increased in recent years, but he also made his grievance known publicly more than three decades ago when he complained about not receiving his own annual salary.
“The first hint came around his 50th birthday when he said on TV he found it difficult to ask his wife for pocket money for cigarettes,” said Stephanie Surrugue, a journalist and author of a biography of the prince, titled “Loner.”
He eventually did receive a salary and staff, but he never got the title he wanted.
The Danish court’s reasoning is that the practice is in line with that of other European royal families, but that has not mollified Henrik.
“He has said he loves his wife, but has difficulties with the queen as an institution,” Ms. Surrugue said. His ambition is not to be crowned regent, she said, but in many ways “he doesn’t feel treated as part of the ruling couple.”
“That’s what his protest is about,” she said.
The prince retired from most of his official duties last year and is rarely seen in public. Ms. Balleby said that the couple’s marriage and the queen’s work would not be affected by Henrik’s change of plans on his final resting place.
Denmark has long prided itself as a nation that has for centuries aimed for gender equality, but Henrik’s call for equal rights has often been mocked.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Karen Sjoerup, an associate professor at Roskilde University who specializes in gender issues, told Politiken, a daily newspaper, of the prince’s demands for gender equality. “The court is not based on equality, but on the right of inheritance,” she said. “The law on gender equality does not apply to the royal court.”
When Henrik married Margrethe, who was then crown princess, he was a successful diplomat in the French foreign service and a member of the nobility.
In marrying Margrethe, he exchanged his career for an undefined role as the queen’s spouse — a first in the history of Denmark, where all previous monarchs had been male aside from a 14th-century queen, who was married to the king of Norway.
Without a title familiar to — and respected by — the public, Henrik has felt that his efforts to promote Denmark have gone unappreciated.
For at least seven years, Bjorn Norgaard, a sculptor, has been working on a glass sarcophagus carried by silver elephants that is designed to hold both the queen and the prince in Roskilde Cathedral after their deaths.
But now, the royal court said, when the time comes the queen will rest there alone.