Prince Henrik, the prince consort of Denmark, has shocked animal lovers by declaring that dog meat - fried or grilled - is one of his favourite dishes.
The 72-year-old prince, a Frenchman by birth, said his penchant for dog meat had developed from the time he spent growing up and studying in Vietnam.
But the disclosure, made in an interview with a Danish magazine, has shocked the nation, particularly as the prince is the honorary president of the Danish Dachshund Club.
He has several dachshunds and, despite publishing a cookery book called Ikke Altid Gaselever (Not Always Goose Liver), has even published eulogies to them.
He invited Danes to try eating dog meat themselves. "I do not mind eating dog meat at all," he said. "The dogs I eat have been bred to be eaten anyway, just like chickens.
"It tastes like rabbit, like dry venison, or like veal - just drier." He said the meat tasted best when it was sautéed or grilled and cut into thin slices.
A book of Prince Henrik's poems, in which he praised his dogs, was published last year. A poem to his dachshund Evita compares her paws to "wings".
"I love to stroke your coat and to see how it shines/ You dear, you special dog..../ You receive me with papal pride."
He previously provoked nationwide debate when he suggested that parents should use the skills of dog training to bring up their children.
Since the prince's admission in the magazine Ud&Se, Danish newspapers have reopened their files on a royal dachshund that disappeared from Amalienborg palace, Copenhagen, in the early 1990s. Despite a countrywide search, it never reappeared.
Prince Henrik learnt Danish and changed his name, religion and nationality to marry Queen Margrethe II in 1967. But he has repeatedly complained about the Danes' lack of willingness to accept him.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Another royal dog-lover...
In the Telegraph: