The Danish royal family and dementia

The Danish royal family announced on Wednesday that Prince Henrik suffers from dementia. The 83-year-old has repeatedly attracted attention with unusually harsh remarks made in public, such as his comment that his wife Queen Margrethe was "making a fool of him". The Danish media say the announcement sheds light on the prince consort's behaviour, but not all commentators find the timing appropriate.

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Berlingske (DK) /

Illness should no longer be taboo

Berlingske praises the Danish royal family's open approach to the issue:

“The Queen and court have not only given the Danes an explanation for the prince's behaviour, they've also helped to demystify a dreadful condition. In the long term that will make things much easier for other people in similar situations. Because dementia is still a taboo in much of society. ... Tell a friend that you suffer from dementia - and he'll look away.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

Important news comes too late

The royal family was too late in explaining the situation as news of the prince's dementia would have helped to shed light on his behaviour, Jyllands-Posten counters:

“It explains his embarrassing appearances of late, which the press cynically followed. However the royal family should have done much more, much sooner, to prevent such stories. ... Dementia is a widespread disease. ... It's to be hoped that the royal family - which seeks to be modern - will use this announcement to create an atmosphere of greater openness regarding this illness.”