9 AUGUST 2008

Posing for official photos at the beginning of their summer break, Queen Margrethe of Denmark's husband sported a less-than-usual holiday outfit – a sling.

Prince Henrik is recovering from a shoulder operation late last month and still needs to give support to his right arm. The procedure came after the 74-year-old royal suffered pain for several months.

The couple are spending the summer at the beautiful Chateau de Cayx, the family's wine-growing estate near the ancient town of Cahors, in France, which they bought 34 years ago. Relaxed and happy, they strolled through the grounds hand-in-hand, accompanied by their three dachshunds.

Queen Margrethe also revealed that they planned to watch the Olympics during their stay. Not known as a great sports fan, there is a very special reason for the monarch's interest.

"My niece Nathalie is competing," she revealed. "We are very proud of that."

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, 33, the daughter of Margrethe's sister Princess Benedikte and her husband, Prince Richard, is a member of the Danish dressage team and this is her first time at an Olympic Games.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Sporting the sling from his recent shoulder operation, Prince Henrik poses with Queen Margrethe ahead of their annual holiday in southern France. The injury means the tennis-loving royal must abstain from playing his favourite game for a while Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Chateau de Cayx was bought by the couple in 1974 and they have restored the buildings of the 14th century estate with great care and attention Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The chateau is located in the vine-growing district of Cahors in southern France, and the family export their wine around the worldPhoto: © Getty Images