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'You, my dear Henri, have stood by me': Queen Margrethe's touching tribute to husband

16 JANUARY 2012

It was an evening in celebration of her Ruby Jubilee – 40 years on the Danish throne. 

And, in a touching speech to mark the occasion, Queen Margrethe was keen to remember those who have helped and supported her over the last four decades. 

  

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She thanked her family – starting with her beloved husband Prince Henrik.

"Right from the first day I had my husband at my side," said the popular royal, who is is so well-loved it's said if the monarchy were abolished she would be elected president.

"You, my dear Henri, have stood by me and been of encouragement and inspiration for me in the work that we perform. This day is your anniversary as well as mine.

"Together we have seen our sons grow up, marry and enrich us with a whole bunch of grandchildren."

For his part, Henrik had introduced his wife in an equally touching manner.

"Dear Queen, dear wife, dear Daisy: I am the first man in the kingdom to admire you," he said, referring to the nickname given to her by her father King Frederik IX and adopted by her subjects.

 

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After passing on the congratulations of the nation, the prince consort said that the couple had shared 40 years together of “good and exciting things” but acknowledged some “difficult challenges”.

He was most probably alluding to his time away from Denmark in 2002.

The prince consort went to stay at the couple's Chateau de Caix in Cahors in southern France after a New Year's Day reception in which his son, Crown Prince Frederik, was appointed host in the absence of the queen.

Henrik felt he had been pushed aside, but after discussions with Margrethe returned three weeks later to resume his royal duties.

At Sunday night's dinner, the Danish queen also paid tribute to her sons and daughters-in-law.

She said Frederik and his wife Mary had "represented Denmark in the best manner, both with your parents and on your own".

The monarch added: " You have lived up to your country's honour and made both of us proud."

Of her younger son Prince Joachim and his wife Marie, she said: "You are also a support and a source of joy to your parents and a benefit to your country."

Margrethe also expressed her joy that her two sisters Princess Benedikte and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece could be present for the celebration.

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