In her New Year's Speech, delivered live from Fredensborg Palace at 6 p.m., Queen Margrethe II announced that her husband, Prince Consort Henrik, has decided to retire. "In the fture, the Prince Consort will therefore only very rarely take part in the official events which through so many years have been a natural part of his life", she said, adding that it was "his decision; I understand it and I respect it". The Queen expressed her gratitude for "all the support, help and inspiration he has given me through all the years" and added that she still looks forward to continue her work and to have his continued support even though in a less visible way.
The Prince Consort's decision to retire comes at the end of a year in which he caused much comments by absenting himself from the celebrations of his wife's 75th birthday, claiming illness but turning up in Venice the next day. He has also on numerous occasions voiced his dissatisfaction with his role, including repeatedly insisting that he ought to be king consort rather than prince consort. However, the Prince Consort's decision may not necessarily have anything to do with this, as he is after all 81 years, but it is of course very rare for a member of a reigning royal family, and particularly for a sitting monarch's consort, to retire from public life.