August 4, 2017

The queen's husband seeks gender equity, wants to be called the "king consort," the way the wife of a king is called "queen consort."

"Denmark’s Prince Henrik Wanted to Be King. So He’ll Protest for Eternity" (NYT).
“For the prince, the decision not to be buried beside the queen is the natural consequence of not having been treated equally to his spouse — by not having the title and role he has desired,” [said the Royal Danish House’s director of communications, Lene Balleby]....

For at least seven years, Bjorn Norgaard, a sculptor, has been working on a glass sarcophagus carried by silver elephants that is designed to hold both the queen and the prince in Roskilde Cathedral after their deaths.
Here's what that thing looks like.

The gender equity problem here is that "queen" is considered lower than "king," so it's been acceptable for the king's wife to be called a queen, but if the queen is the one with the recognition as sovereign, it's traditionally been because there is no one in line to be king. If there's a man called "king," it seems that he should be the one with the power, and Henrik has no claim to that. He's trying to drain something out of the word "king" that hasn't been present in the word "queen," to drag "king" down to the level of "queen," and maybe modern ideas about gender equity do support that, but I understand the resistance to importing modern principle into royalty. Where do you stop? You'd have to dismantle the whole institution.

61 comments:

Unknown said...

Silly.

The world recognizes the difference between a Queen Regent and a Queen Consort.

Why is Ann unable to recognize the simple difference between a King Regent and a King Consort, the latter being clearly subject to the Queen Regent while holding the title of "King?"

traditionalguy said...

In my experience even low level Aristocrats from the Netherlands push their elite status until you finally have to laugh and just ignore them.

rehajm said...

Where do you stop? You'd have to dismantle the whole institution.

Yes. Yes you do.

Richard said...

Get rid of the monarchy. Problem solved.

Rick said...

to drag "king" down to the level of "queen"

I think drag Kings need to move up to reach the level of drag Queens. They may not be my cup of tea but clearly there is a heightened cultural position drag Kings can as yet only aspire to.

Mike Sylwester said...

This "consort" issue was treated in the first season of the PBS series about Queen Victoria and her husband Albert. The title he received was "Prince Consort".

I enjoyed watching the first season and am looking forward to the second season, which will begin in a few weeks.

rhhardin said...

Bjorn Norgaard jumps the sjark.

Ralph L said...

Unknown, it's "regnant", not regent.

Aren't they bicycle monarchs in Denmark anyway?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Once this is resolve, it's on to chess...

tcrosse said...

On top of it all, these semantics are taking place in Danish, which is not a language but a throat condition.

rhhardin said...

The analysis is right. A queen is a king substitute when you don't have anything better.

Cleopatra did okay but she was a pharaoh and only screwed emperors.

Bay Area Guy said...

Does Althouse have an "empty gesture" tag? It would work well for this ditzy Danish monarch.

I reckon if he really wanted to make a statement, he could give back all that free monarchical money and perks he received from his loyal subjects. Just sayin.

Fernandinande said...

Er dronningen en sex-slave skabt af hendes indtage royal gelé?

Nej, hun kan ikke engang reproducere.

rhhardin said...

Queens can't conquer, is one problem. There's no resistance.

Marc Puckett said...

I wonder if the Danish royal family even pretends at being Christian still? You wouldn't know it from the sarcophagus, if they do.

tcrosse said...

That sarcophagus is hideous. I wouldn't be caught dead in it.

Ambrose said...

There's a Hamlet joke in here somewhere trying to get out.

tcrosse said...

You can't make a Hamlet without breaking eggs.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Another brooding Prince of Denmark hamming it up.

rhhardin said...

Ikea probably has a coffin solution.

Static Ping said...

So maybe we should just call him the Royal Bottom.

Curious George said...

So if I have this right, if the Prince had balls he would be the Queen?

Fernandinande said...

Edumacational video:
Norway 200 Years! - (Danish Language Explained)

Q: Hvorfor er børnesengene så høje i Århus?

A: Så kan de bedre høre når børnene falder ud!

Latter overalt!

Bob Boyd said...

Why is there a crumpled up Toblerone wrapper on top of the model?

rhhardin said...

There's the Legos box too.

Ralph L said...

Wiki: The Order of the Elephant (Danish: Elefantordenen) is a Danish order of chivalry and is Denmark's highest-ranked honour.

It isn't just whimsy.

bagoh20 said...

"For at least seven years, Bjorn Norgaard, a sculptor, has been working on a glass sarcophagus carried by silver elephants..."

Well, lets be honest. We've all done that, haven't we. Some of us work in different media, maybe plywood, recycled beer cans, or stucco, but we've all gone through that stage.

Bob Boyd said...

I had some Maui Jim's that came in a box just like that. Great shades.

Hagar said...

In Denmark and Sweden the monarch (king or queen) is elected by the national assembly. If Prince Henrik has a problem, he needs to talk to the Danish Parliament about it.

The crown of Norway is strictly hereditary as it has always (since about 870 A.D., anyway) been, except in the unusual circumstances after the Napoleonic Wars, when the Brits imposed the Swedish "king" (actually one of Napoleon's former generals who switched sides) on us. It then took us 90 years to set things right by declaring independence from Sweden and asking Prince Carl of Denmark (as near as we could come to the rightful heir by inheritance) to be our king, which turned out to be a very good choice indeed.

Sebastian said...

"You'd have to dismantle the whole institution." Why would any proper prog stop? Even if not the actual goal in this case, "dismantling the whole institution" is the prog MO. Marriage, family, university, courts, intelligence service, mainline church, nation-state--did I miss anything?

Hagar said...

As for the languages, if you learn to speak the Norwegian official language (bokmål or riksmål) and then stuff a hot buttered roll in your mouth, you will also have official Danish down pat.
The regional dialects of either country is another story entirely.

Unknown said...

I love the sculpture btw.

Bob Boyd said...

Why are there two blacks stumps and one grey stump supporting the carcass display case, I wonder?

Feste said...

~
I’m out. Estopped. Not by rules against perpetuities. By the brute force of Archimedean Paradoxes in the main post. Just a casual tourist. Sightseeing.

Daniel Jackson said...

Madame Althouse mused: "Where do you stop? You'd have to dismantle the whole institution."

I believe that question, for Americans living in the US (as opposed to living in Canada) was resolved in 1776 when the entire idea of monarchy was dumped, or dismantled if you will.

Ralph L said...

Unknown said...
I love the sculpture btw.

Now there's room for you.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Why glass? Do they want their bodies on view or something?

jwl said...

Presumably Queen Elizabeth I, the virgin queen, never married to avoid issues like having neurotic husband who wants more power.

Fernandinande said...

Better to be at a Queen concert than be a queen consort.

Meade said...

Please don't call me "blogger's consort" but feel free to call me "king," "lord," "master," or just plain "lord master king."

Meade said...

Also, after I kick the bucket, don't hesitate, if you wish, to put me in a glass tube, held above the floodplain, by elephants.

Charlie Eklund said...

Unlike Vice President, Blogger's Consort is doubtless a better gig than title.

Meade said...

@Charlie
You are so very correct. It's been a great gig. Bliss, in fact. And today, by the way, begins Year 9 of my life tenure or, as the Britons fancy calling it, service during good behaviour.

tcrosse said...

Please don't call me "blogger's consort" but feel free to call me "king," "lord," "master," or just plain "lord master king."

Master of Your Domain ?

buwaya puti said...

King is an odd title. It has never been something that could be conferred by marriage, as it is not simply a title, as in a rank in the aristocratic pecking order. It is a job description. Queen is a rank in the pecking order, as well as sometimes a job description.

The King is the boss, no quibbles.

Bob Boyd said...

A real king would say "after we kick the bucket..."

Meade said...

"Master of Your Domain ?"

Yes. This is why (royal) we watch only wholesome shows like Tiny Toons on Nickelodeon.

tcrosse said...

Or Marshall the Marshall.

RonF said...

It's Queen Regnant, not Queen Regent. A regent is someone who is temporarily acting in the name of the monarchy while waiting for the monarch-to-be to come of age or recover from an illness. Queen Regnant means that the Queen is ruling as monarch in her own right instead of having gained the title through marrying the King.

RonF said...

"Presumably Queen Elizabeth I, the virgin queen, never married to avoid issues like having neurotic husband who wants more power."

Having read a couple of biographies of her I can say that you've got a handle on part of it. It wouldn't necessarily have been a neurotic husband - she didn't want to surrender her power to ANY man, as in that day and age her husband would have automatically gained authority over her and thus England. That was further complicated by the fact that most eligible husbands for her would have been foreigners. Her marriage would have likely placed a foreigner as monarch of England, something that she knew full well would have not at all been popular and would have threatened the Throne (or at least her and her husband's occupation thereof).

RonF said...

I sang a role (one of the smaller ones) in Maskerade, the Danish national opera. Danish is a very difficult language to learn to sing....

William Chadwick said...

Queen Elizabeth II's husband wanted the same thing until, after the fourth of her four daily cocktails, she backhanded him in the face and said, "When I want your opinion, bitch, I'll ask for it."

tcrosse said...

Phil Mountbatten's nose was out of joint because Betty Windsor wouldn't take his name when they married. "Who's Queen?", she explained.

Darrell said...

That's why the Statue of Liberty was given to us. To encourage the spread of the republican form of government to the rest of the world.

walter said...

The dude's a pawn here.

walter said...

This reminds me of the re-consideration of the privileged "1st lady" status that might have occurred had Clinton, Inc taken the crown.
We've skirted the issue for now.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Phil Mountbatten's nose was out of joint because Betty Windsor wouldn't take his name when they married. "Who's Queen?", she explained.

He long ago got over it.

Ralph L said...

We've skirted the issue for now.

Or pantsed it.

Geoff Matthews said...

Man, Prince Phillip is looking better every year.

Unknown said...

"Cleopatra did okay but she was a pharaoh and only screwed emperors."

Nope, Julius Caesar wasn't an emperor.

Unknown said...

Just what does the word "equity" mean?