Sunday 11 June 2006

Happy birthday Prince Henrik!

Photo © Klaus Møller

Today it is a happy birthday wish to Prince Henrik who is 72 years old!
Henrik was born Henri Marie Jean André Count de Laborde de Monpezat on 11 June, 1934 in Talence, Gironde, France, the son of Count André de Laborde de Monpezat (d. 1998) and Countess Renée de Monpezat, born Doursennot (d. 2002). According to information published on the Danish Royal website there will be no formal celebration, in fact Prince Henrik has already left Denmark to attend the 60th anniversary accession celebrations of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand.

Prince Henrik was in the diplomatic service from 1962 within the Asia Department of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from 1963 to 1967 as a Secretary to the French Embassy in London he was in the right place at the right time to meet Margrethe, who was studying in London (also in the right place in the right time!). Prince Henrik operates the wine estate Château de Cayx in Cahors in France and exports wine from the estate worldwide. Prince Henrik speaks French (of course!), Danish (some say not so well, but perhaps some of the criticism has been unfair), English, Chinese and Vietnamese. Check out Henrik's publications and you can see he is not just a 'pretty face'. Next year Henrik and Margrethe will celebrate 40 years of marriage.

In an interview with Billed Bladet last year for his 71st birthday Henrik said he still plays tennis, sails and rides and thinks it important to stay active. He said friends are very important to him and he treasures them as he gets older. Prince Henrik said he would like to have many grandchildren and joked that as he has just two sons he canot expect more than a dozen! He said as you get older marriage changes and you understand each other in a different way. It is important to support the other partner and feel good about being together. Being able to talk and communicate is important and he feels he has this with the Queen. He discussed his books about poetry and cooking and also said how Chateau de Cayx is his sanctuary for relaxing and enjoying nature.

Currently Prince Henrik is protector for 75 organisations and as well as promoting these organisations he visits them at least once each year. Henrik is also president of five organisations, chairman for four foundations and an honorary member of 48 organisations.



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