Queen Margrethe’s grandson speaks out after losing Prince title©KELD NAVNTOFT/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Margrethe’s grandson speaks out after losing Prince title

Nikolai is the Danish monarch’s eldest grandchild

Prince Joachim of Denmark’s children began the New Year with the loss of their Prince and Princess titles. As of Jan. 1, 2023, their Prince and Princess titles were discontinued and they can now only use their titles of Counts and Countess of Monpezat. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s oldest grandchild, Nikolai, has spoken out since the changes went into effect.

“It’s a strange feeling and an experience that I would rather have been without,” he said (translated to English) in a written response from his mother Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg’s press adviser, Helle von Wildenrath Løvgreen, to Billed Bladet. “But now it is as it is. For the rest of my life, I will be proud of the years when I was allowed to be a prince of Denmark.”

Nikolai, 23, is Prince Joachim’s eldest child from his first marriage to Alexandra. The former couple also share 20-year-old son Felix. Joachim is also a father to Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10, whom he shares with his wife Princess Marie.

Nikolai is Prince Joachim of Denmark's eldest child©Getty Images
Nikolai is Prince Joachim of Denmark’s eldest child

Queen Margrethe II’s decision to change the titles of Joachim’s children was announced back in September. The Danish Royal House noted at the time that “the Queen’s decision is in line with similar adjustments that other royal houses have made in various ways in recent years,” and that with her decision, the monarch “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.”

Her Majesty released a statement days later following “strong reactions” to her decision. She said, “My decision has been a long time coming. With my 50 years on the throne, it is natural both to look back and to look ahead. It is my duty and my desire as Queen to ensure that the monarchy always shapes itself in keeping with the times. Sometimes, this means that difficult decisions must be made, and it will always be difficult to find the right moment.”

Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena’s titles of Prince and Princess have been ‘discontinued’©Getty Images
Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena’s titles of Prince and Princess have been ‘discontinued’

“Holding a royal title involves a number of commitments and duties that, in the future, will lie with fewer members of the royal family. This adjustment, which I view as a necessary future-proofing of the monarchy, I want to take in my own time,” the Queen added.

While she made her “decision as Queen, mother and grandmother,” the Danish monarch admitted that “as a mother and grandmother” she “underestimated the extent to which much my younger son and his family feel affected. That makes a big impression, and for that I am sorry.” Her Majesty said, “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.”

The Queen spoke about “difficulties and misunderstandings” arising in her family during her New Year Address on Dec. 31. In her speech, she said, “I always feel great love for my entire family. Difficulties and misunderstandings may arise in any family, also in mine. The whole country has witnessed that. That the relationship with Prince Joachim and Princess Marie has run into difficulties makes me sad.”

Queen Margrethe continued, “We have now had a quieter period and time for reflection, and I am sure that our family can embark on the new year together with confidence, understanding, and new courage.”

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