Danish Queen 'Sorry' She Stripped Grandkids' Titles

Queen Margrethe II issues apologetic but firm statement
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2022 3:41 PM CDT
Updated Oct 4, 2022 1:39 AM CDT
Danish Queen Strips 4 Grandkids of Royal Titles
Prince Joachim and Princess Marie arrive at the gala banquet at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022.   (Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

Update: Denmark's Queen Margrethe II has issued a mea culpa after her decision to strip four of her eight grandchildren of their royal titles caused some hurt feelings in the family. In a statement issued Monday, the queen says she was simply trying to "future-proof" the monarchy and ensure it was in "keeping with the times," but that she "underestimated" the "strong reactions" her family would have to what she says was a "difficult" decision. "And for that I am sorry," she says, though she's not backing down on what she insists is a necessary move. "No one should be in doubt that my children, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren are my great joy and pride. I now hope that we as a family can find the peace to find our way through this situation," she says. Our original story from Sept. 29 follows:

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has decided to trim the size of the country's royal family—to the apparent surprise of some of its members. The palace announced Wednesday that four of the queen's eight grandchildren would be stripped of their royal titles as of Jan. 1 next year, AFP reports. The children of Prince Joachim, the younger of the queen's two sons, "will only be able to use their titles of Count and Countess of Monpezat, their previous titles of Prince and Princess of Denmark ceasing to exist," the statement said. The palace said the move was in line with recent adjustments made by other royal houses. The four children of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary will keep their titles.

Joachim, 53, has four children: sons Nikolai, 23, and Felix, 20—from his marriage to Hong Kong-born Alexandra, Countess of Frederiskborg—and son Henrik, 13, and daughter Athena, 10, from his marriage to Princess Marie, a French citizen. The palace said the queen made the decision so the children would "be able to shape their own existence without being limited by the special considerations and obligations that a formal affiliation with the Royal House as an institution implies." In remarks to Danish media, Joachim complained that he had been given only five days' notice of the decision, People reports. He said he had been told months ago that the move wouldn't happen until each of the children turned 25, and that the palace would consider his feedback.

"We are all very sad. It's never fun to see your children being mistreated like that," Joachim told the Ekstra Bladet newspaper. "They find themselves in a situation they do not understand." He said the children are upset by the change. "Why should their identity be removed?" he asked. "Why must they be punished in that way?" Asked how the move had affected his reIationship with his mother, he said, "I don't think I need to elaborate here" and walked away. Margrethe, 82, has been queen of Denmark for 50 years, and the death of Queen Elizabeth II made her Europe's longest-serving monarch. (She tested positive for COVID the day after Elizabeth's funeral.)

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