Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has stripped four of her eight grandchildren of their royal titles, as well as “His/Her Highness” titles — a decision that has rocked the royal family.
The children of the Queen’s second son, Prince Joachim; Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10 will now be referred to as either “His Excellency Count of Monpezat” or “Her Excellency Countess of Monpezat” starting on January 1, 2023.
Prince Joachim is sixth in line to the Danish throne.
Queen Margrethe II, 82, who is now the longest-reigning monarch following Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, announced she was removing all royal titles in a statement on Wednesday.
“With her decision, Her Majesty The 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,” the statement read.
“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.”
The Danish monarch defended her decision telling reporters, “It is a consideration I have had for quite a long time and I think it will be good for them in their future. That is the reason,” according to Hello! Magazine.
Queen Margrethe said removing her grandchildren’s prince and princess titles will enable them 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.”
But the news wasn’t well-received by all members of the royal family.
Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg — the mother of Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, who are set to lose their royal titles, said she was “confused” by the news.
“We are saddened and in shock,” Prince Joachim’s ex-wife said in a statement from her press advisor Helle von Wildenrath Løvgreen, according to Danish magazine Se og Hør.
“This comes like a bolt from the blue. The children feel ostracized. They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away from them.”
No changes were made to the titles of Prince Frederik, the heir to the throne, as well as his wife, Princess Mary, and their children — Prince Christian, 16, Princess Isabella, 15, and 11-year-old twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.
The palace said “the Queen’s decision is in line with similar adjustments that other royal houses have made in various ways in recent years.”