This article has been updated with more information below the original story as members of the family have spoken out regarding Queen Margrethe II’s decision to change Prince Joachim’s children’s titles.
The Danish Royal House has announced changes in titles for the children of Queen Margrethe II’s youngest son Prince Joachim. The monarch’s grandchildren Prince Nikolai, 23, Prince Felix, 20, Prince Henrik, 13, and ten-year-old Princess Athena’s titles of Prince and Princess will be “discontinued” starting next year.
“In April 2008, Her Majesty The Queen bestowed upon her sons, their spouses and their descendants the titles of count and countess of Monpezat. In May 2016, it was also announced that His Royal Highness Prince Christian, as the only one of The Queen’s grandchildren, is expected to receive an annuity from the state as an adult,” the Royal House said in a statement on Sept. 28.
“As a natural extension of this, Her Majesty has decided that, as of 1 January 2023, His Royal Highness Prince Joachim’s descendants can only use their titles as counts and countess of Monpezat, as the titles of prince and princess that they have held up until now will be discontinued. Prince Joachim’s descendants will thus have to be addressed as excellencies in the future. The Queen’s decision is in line with similar adjustments that other royal houses have made in various ways in recent years,” the statement continued.
The Royal House noted that with the decision, the Danish Queen “wishes to create the framework for the four grandchildren to be able to shape their own lives to a much greater extent without being limited by the special considerations and duties that a formal affiliation with the Royal House of Denmark as an institution involves.” Although Nikolai, Felix, Henrik, and Athena’s titles of Prince and Princess are being removed, they will maintain their places in the order of succession.
Prince Joachim shares his eldest sons Nikolai and Felix with his first wife, Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, and Henrik and Athena with Princess Marie, whom he married in 2008.
As the Danish Royal House pointed out, other royal houses have made “similar adjustments” in recent years. Back in 2019, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden removed his son Prince Carl Philip and daughter Princess Madeleine’s respective children from the Royal House. It was also announced at the time that Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine’s kids would “no longer enjoy the style of Royal Highness.”
The story has been updated below:
What did Prince Joachim say about the Queen’s decision to remove his children’s Prince and Princess titles?
The dad of four has said that his children are “sad” following the Queen’s decision to change their titles. “We are all very sad. It’s never fun to see your children being mistreated like that. They themselves find themselves in a situation they do not understand,” he told Ekstra Bladet (translated to English).
“I was given five days’ notice,” he said of the decision. Joachim revealed that in May he was presented “with a plan, which basically stated that when the children each turned 25, it would happen.”
In another interview with B.T., the Danish Queen’s youngest son admitted that he does not know why the “decision was accelerated.” He said (translated to English): “I simply don’t know that. I originally asked for time to think and give my feedback. That would also be taken into account.”
Joachim told B.T. that he had been presented with a plan “called 25 years.” “I asked to be allowed to come back with my proposal. And then it was all done for this upcoming New Year,” he said. According to Joachim, Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena are “sad” and “don’t know which leg to stand on.” He continued, “What they should believe. Why should their identity be removed? Why must they be punished in that way?”
What did the Royal House say after Prince Joachim spoke out?
After Joachim spoke out, the Royal House’s Director of Communications Lene Balleby told B.T. (translated to English): “As the Queen stated yesterday, the decision has been a long time coming. We understand that there are many emotions at stake at the moment, but we hope that the Queen’s wish to future-proof the Royal Palace will be respected.”
What has Prince Joachim’s ex-wife said about the Queen’s decision?
Prince Joachim’s ex-wife, Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, whom he shares sons Nikolai and Felix with, reportedly told B.T., (translated to English) after the Queen’s decision, “We are all confused by the decision. We are saddened and in shock.”
She added, “This comes like a bolt from the blue. The children feel ostracized. They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away from them.”
What titles will Prince Joachim’s children use starting in 2023?
Starting January 1, 2023, their titles of Prince and Princess will be “discontinued” and Joachim’s children can only use their Count and Countess of Monpezat titles. They will also be addressed as excellencies.