The Danish media were eager to laud Prince Henrik and his life in the days following his death on February 13. Front covers after cover, and article after article, newspapers and magazines praised the French-born royal for his gallant representation of Denmark over the decades.
But as thousands of Danes lined up across Copenhagen to bid their final farewell to the prince, they would not be bamboozled so easily. Not this time.
For they remembered the ridicule, and at times outright disdain, that the media had heaped upon the poor Frenchman – the worst offenders being tabloids and gossip rags like Ekstra Bladet and Se og Hør.
A new Magafon survey compiled on behalf of TV2 and Politken shows that 58 percent of Danes didn’t think the Danish media gave Prince Henrik a fair shake during his time in Denmark. And only 23 percent felt that the media treatment of the prince was acceptable.
Ekstra Bladet Effekten
The tabloid Ekstra Bladet seems to bears much of the blame. With nicknames like ‘King Truancy’ and ‘Prince Beer Gut’, not much was off-limits – particularly in his later years when he began behaving more erratically ahead of being diagnosed with dementia.
“We’ve had media that have been very brutal in their treatment of Prince Henrik,” the culture minister, Mette Bock, told TV2.
“I think we need to be honest and admit that they haven’t always treated the prince fairly and with understanding.”