Prince Henrik’s coffin began the 40-kilometre journey in a hearse from Fredensborg Palace south to Copenhagen so Danes can pay their last respects.
The Danish Royal Family had declared a month of mourning after Prince Henrik died in his sleep on Tuesday, 13 February, at 11.18 pm at Fredensborg Palace where he wanted to spend his last days, hours after he was discharged from Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet.
The Royal Standard and flags across Denmark were lowered to half-mast.
Video: Konghuset/TV2 ©
Denmark’s flag, Prince Henrik’s personal standard and royal crest were draped over the white coffin as it was carried out of Fredensborg Palace and placed inside the hearse.
Queen Margrethe and the rest of the Royal Family followed in a procession, accompanied by a large police escort, as people braved the freezing cold and windy weather as they lined part of the route to Amalienborg Palace, their official residence in Copenhagen.
Many Danes had already laid their flowers and tributes outside Amalienborg.
The Queen, Crown Prince Frederik, Prince Joachim and their families came to see the many tributes after their arrival.
Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim and their families came to see flowers outside Amalienborg Palace.
Prince Henrik’s coffin was carried into the Knights’ Hall in Christian IX’s Palace at Amalienborg where it remained overnight with members of the Royal Life Guard and sailors from the Royal Yacht Dannebrog keeping watch.
His remains were transferred to Christianborg Palace Church at 6.00 pm.
Queen Margrethe and her family watched as Prince Henrik’s coffin was carried into the church for the Castrum Doloris (Latin for ‘Castle of Grief’) and laid on a catafalque covered in a purple velvet cloth.
Video: Kongehuset ©
Several of Prince Henrik’s orders, include the Order of the Elephant, are placed on a black velvet cushion in front of the coffin.
The Castrum Doloris is a tradition which dates back to the 17th Century which provides the public with the opportunity to pay their final respects and to say goodbye.
Officers from the Army, Navy, the Air Force and the Home Guard will take turns standing guard around Prince Henrik’s coffin, with eight officers on watch at a time.
They will remain to guard the coffin when the church doors are opened to the general public.
However, photography during the Castrum Doloris is forbidden. Photographic equipment will be confiscated from anyone disobeying this rule.