Queen Margrethe says “sorry” after stripping grandchildren of royal titles

Photo credit: Patrick van Katwijk - Getty Images
Photo credit: Patrick van Katwijk - Getty Images

Denmark's Queen Margrethe has apologised for stripping four of her grandchildren of their Prince and Princess titles, but has said she will not reverse the 'shock' decision.

To recap, last week a statement from the Danish royal palace confirmed that the children of Magrethe's youngest son, Prince Joachim, would no longer be permitted to use their royal titles. Prince Joachim has four children from two marriages: Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena, ranging in age from 23 to 10.

"As of January 1 2023, the descendants of His Royal Highness Prince Joachim 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 noted that the reason for the move is to allow the children to live more 'normal' lives and "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." Despite being stripped of the titles, Queen Margarethe pointed out that all four siblings would maintain their places in the order of succession.

Photo credit: Steffi Loos   - Getty Images
Photo credit: Steffi Loos - Getty Images

But the move was not well-received by the Danish royal family, with 23-year-old Nikolai (the oldest of Prince Joachim's children) claiming that the siblings are "very sad" about the change. "[We are] in shock at this decision and at how quickly it has actually gone," he told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. "I am very confused as to why it has to happen like this."

Similarly, Prince Joachim told the newspaper: "It’s never fun to see your children being mistreated like that."

Now, Margrethe has spoken out for the first time since the decision was made public, saying that she "underestimated" her family's "strong reaction" adding "for that I am sorry."

"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 royal went on.

"Change can be difficult and can really hurt. But this does not mean that the decision is not the right one," Crown Princess Mary – the wife of Queen Margrethe's oldest son, Crown Prince Frederik – said in support of the move.

The Danish monarch is now Europe's only reigning queen following the death of Queen Elizabeth II – who was her third cousin.

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