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[ PRINCE HENRIK’S FAVOURITE RECIPES ]
[ THE ROYAL HOUSE OF DANEMARK ]

 


Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark, is of French origin and was born Henri de Laborde de Monpezat.
He was the eldest son of his family. In 1967, he became Prince Henrik by virtue of his marriage with Princess Margrethe of Denmark.


In 1974, he bought the Château de Cayx and the lands surrounding it – a property situated not far from his own family estate in Cayrou. He patiently set himself to the renovation of the château and to the reconstitution of its prestigious vineyard.


The Danish sovereigns enjoy their annual stays at the Château de Cayx. Their children, the Crown Prince Frederick and Prince Joachim, also like spending their summer vacations at the château with their respective families.

All the members of the Royal family show a keen interest in viticulture and in the preservation of their heritage. The future of the Château de Cayx now lies in the hands of the upcoming generation, and especially in those of the Crown Prince Frederick.

From poetry to gastronomy

Wine is but one of the passions of Prince Henrik. HRH devotes much of his time to the defence of the European patrimony (he was the President of Europa Nostra from 1999 to 2007);
he also presides over the Danish Red Cross and the World Wild Life Fund dedicated to the protection of the environment.
He is the author of several books, including collections of poems, some of which have been awarded academic prizes in Paris, Strasbourg and Toulouse.
Prince Henrik also likes to perpetuate poetical traditions in relation with the Château de Cayx. Hereunder a quatrain that he wrote to celebrate his beloved domain:

Cahors de Cœur
Des vins seigneurs
Du Lot la fleur
De Cayx l’honneur.

The Wine of Cahors: a family affair

A gourmet and a staunch defender of culinary traditions, Prince Henrik has accommodated some ancient recipes and invented new ones to accompany the wines he produces at Cayx. Some of his favourites that are often served at the royal table include local products such as cepes, black truffles, duck foie gras or the famous Quercy lamb.


Several Monpezat families have lived in France over the centuries, but the two most important were the Monpezat from Agen and those from the Quercy. Their baronies were by far the most important of the region between the 10th and the 15th Centuries.


The Wine of Cahors: a family affair
Originating from Navarre, the Laborde family settled a marriage agreement in 1648 with the Monpezat whereby Jean de Laborde married Catherine d’Arricau, dame of Monpezat and heir apparent of the fief. In May 1655, the couple received the letters of nobility signed by King Louis XIV entitling them to use the double name Laborde de Monpezat.
Born to this family settled in the Béarn, Aristide de Laborde de Monpezat, great-grandfather of Prince Henrik of Denmark, later became mayor of the town of Pau from 1876 to 1881.

In 1897, the name of Monpezat was given to a street in Pau that ran at right angles to rue Bernadotte. That was indeed a strange coincidence – or a sign of destiny as Prince Henrik puts it in his book Destin oblige (published in 1996): Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is a descendant of Marshal Bernadotte by her mother Queen Ingrid, born princess of Sweden.
During the last decade of the 19th Century, Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, grandfather of Prince Henrik, emigrated to the then French Indo-China to seek his fortune. A wise entrepreneur and a gifted administrator, he quickly established himself at the head of a flourishing agricultural and industrial empire, with offices in Tonkin and Amman.

In 1902, Henri de Monpezat became involved in politics and was elected deputy at the Conseil supérieur des colonies. An unflagging pioneer, he founded in 1920 La Volonté Chinoise that quickly became an important daily newspaper in Hanoi.
He also set up an agricultural domain of rice and coffee plantations extending over 15 000 ha, operated several cotton spinning factories and opened a number of coalmines.
In 1928, his second son, Prince Henrik’s father, joined him to help with the management of the family business.

Following the death of his father, André took over the direction of the family enterprises with the help of his brother. He was especially involved in the management of the newspaper, that he later renamed L’Entente.
André de Monpezat’s eldest children, Prince Henrik and his sister Françoise, lived the first years of their lives in the pomp and splendour of the then French Indo-China. Prince Henrik graduated from the French Upper Secondary School in Hanoi.

He shared his father’s passion for hunting and horse riding, and he also took a keen interest in running the plantations, setting up irrigation devices and implementing the new methods of exploitation devised by his father.

From his life in Indo-China, Prince Henrik has retained a profound interest for the Vietnamese and Chinese cultures and philosophies.

In 1955, after the disastrous Diên Biên Phû episode, the Monpezat family quit Indo-China for good and returned to their native Quercy to settle in Albas, at the very heart of the Cahors wine-producing district. André de Monpezat then started his own vineyard and passed on to his children his taste and passion for wine and winemaking.
In 1946, together with other fellow wine producers, he founded the Cave coopérative of Parnac, devoted to promoting the wines and the vineyard of Cahors. To this day, the Cooperative offers for sale a special cuvée named after the « Comte André de Monpezat ».


 
 

Count André de Monpezat, Prince Henrik’s father, recalls some anecdotes about the harvest in the Lot region: in the 19th Century, grape-pickers came downhill to empty their baskets full of fruit and walked back uphill after having refilled them with earth. This constant fight against erosion ended momentarily in 1880, when the phylloxera epidemic devastated the vineyard.

Count André de Monpezat, Prince Henrik’s father, at a meeting of the Confrérie du vin de Cahors, of which he a member of honour.
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HRH Prince Henrik and his son Joachim, at the occasion of their first harvest at the Château de Cayx

 
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