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  Europe
Danish Prince Loves Eating Dog Meat
Dog-Lover Prince and a Question of Good Taste
By Roger Boyes in Berlin
Prince Henrik with Queen Margrethe of Denmark

The royal families of Europe have traditionally been dog lovers, pampering their corgis, labradors and wolfhounds. Prince Henrik of Denmark, however, loves dogs in a rather different way: delicately sliced, lightly fried and served on a plate.

"Dog meat tastes like rabbit," he said in an interview published yesterday in the lifestyle magazine Ud & Se. "Like dried baby goat. Or perhaps — I know! — like veal. Like the veal of a baby suckling calf, only drier."

But the culinary tastes of the 72-year-old Prince have caused concern on two counts. First, he is the husband of Queen Margrethe and, as Prince Consort, one of the official voices of Denmark, a country committed to ending animal cruelty. Secondly, he is honorary president of the Danish Dachshund Club.

The Prince is rarely seen without his dachshunds. They are the Scandinavian equivalent of the Balmoral corgis. In one interview he said that he would like to be reborn as a dachshund in the Danish Court. And he has advised parents "to bring up children like dogs."

He has even written a poem dedicated to his favourite dachshund, Evita. It reads: "I love to stroke your fur/ And to see it fall smooth/ You dear dog, so special to me."

Danes recall a tabloid-fuelled drama in the 1990s, when one of the royal dachshunds disappeared. Rewards were offered and citizens searched high and low. Could it be, Danes are daring to ask, that the dog got lost in the kitchens?

"In the light of the Prince Consort's confessions, perhaps we should reopen the case of the disappearing dachshund," Mats Jørgensen, an architect and cat owner, said.

"You have to make some allowances for the Prince," Lasse Hansen, a dog lover who works in an EU embassy in Copenhagen, said. "He is French, and the French are capable of eating extraordinary things, like horses and snails."

The Prince apparently developed an appetite for dog-bone stew and other canine delicacies at an early age. He grew up in Vietnam, where roast dog remains a speciality. "I've got no qualms about eating dog meat," he said. "These dogs are bred to be eaten, just like chickens."

The comments by the Prince confirmed to most Danes the impression that he was the Copenhagen version the Duke of Edinburgh. Neither the chain-smoking Queen of Denmark nor her husband has much regard for political correctness.

The prince is regarded as a colourful eccentric. He is an accomplished piano player, composes his own music, has published two volumes of poetry, sails competitively and paints.

But he is most passionate about food and dogs. Among the books he has translated into Danish is a compilation of recipes entitled It does not always have to be goose liver!



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