Danish Queen Margrethe ‘sorry’ for stripping royal titles from grandchildren

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe has made an extraordinary public apology after sensationally stripping her grandchildren of their princely titles — but she’s still standing by the decision.

In a statement released on Monday night, the Queen admitted she had “underestimated” the extent to which her younger son Prince Joachim and his family would be affected by the changes announced last week.

Under the new hierarchy set to come into play on January 1, Joachim’s children — Prince Nikolai, 23, Prince Felix, 20, Prince Henrik, 13, and Princess Athena, 10 — will be known by the titles Count and Countess of Monpezat instead of Prince and Princess.

However, the four children of Margrethe’s eldest son and future king Frederick and Australian-born Princess Mary will retain their titles of prince and princess. But when they come of age only the future king, Prince Christian, will receive government funding, a decision taken in 2016.

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Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim. Credit: Mads Claus Rasmussen/EPA

In announcing the controversial changes, the Danish palace said it would allow Joachim’s children to live more normal lives. It followed similar moves by other royal families in Europe, including the Windsors, to slim down their monarchies.

But it has caused a very public royal rift, with Joachim, who is now married to second wife Princess Marie, telling Danish news outlet Ekstra Bladet: “We are all very sad. It’s never fun to see your children being harmed. They are been put in a situation they do not understand”.

He said he had been given only five days’ notice of the decision. His wife, Princess Marie, said her youngest child had been bullied at school in the wake of the announcement.

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Prince Joachim and Princess Marie. Credit: Ida Marie Odgaard/AP

In her new statement, Margrethe, Europe’s only reigning Queen, has responded to the “strong reactions”.

“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,” she said.

news, royal family, europe, world news, danish queen margrethe ‘sorry’ for stripping royal titles from grandchildren

Danish Queen Margrethe. Credit: Mads Claus Rasmussen/EPA

She said making the change now would help “future proof” the monarchy.

“I have made my decision as Queen, mother and grandmother, but, as a mother and grandmother, I have 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,” she 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.”

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