Denmark's Queen stripped 4 of her grandkids of their royal titles. Now they're moving to America.

Trouble has been brewing in the Danish royal family for a few months now - and it has everything to do with the stripping of some precious titles. 

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has reigned as Denmark's monarch for over 50 years, and is now Europe's longest-serving current head of state.

The much-loved monarch made a decision back in October that overall appeared to have gone down well with the public. But certainly not with some of her family.

Queen Margrethe announced she would be stripping four of her grandchildren of their royal titles. While the children of Crown Prince Frederik and Australian-born Crown Princess Mary will retain their titles, the kids of Frederik's younger brother Prince Joachim have lost theirs. 

"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," a statement from the royal palace said.

But Prince Joachim and his kids didn't take the news very well - and it's been playing out in tit-for-tat comments to waiting media ever since, much to the reported annoyance of the Queen. 

Watch Princess Mary speaking about the need to champion women and girls. Story continues below.

Video via Nairobi Summit.

In the official statement, Queen Margrethe explained that her hope is for the four children of her youngest son, Prince Joachim, to live more normal lives. 

"Her Majesty the Queen wants to create a framework for the four grandchildren, to a much greater degree, to be able 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," the palace said.

The move isn't isolated to just Denmark, with other European royal families deciding to slim down their monarchies too.

Following the announcement, the Queen said: "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."

So who exactly in Denmark's royal family is affected?

Queen Margrethe has two sons - Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim. 

Each has four children. Prince Frederik and Princess Mary have Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent, and Princess Josephine.

As for Prince Joachim, he has four kids from two marriages: Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena, ranging in age from 10 to 23. 

While the palace indicated the decision was several months in the making - and that the family had been kept in the loop - Prince Joachim has reacted critically to the announcement.

"I was given five days' notice of this. To tell my children that at the New Year their identity will be taken away from them. I am very, very sad to see them upset and uncomprehending of what is happening over their heads," he said to BT


"I can say that my children are sad. My kids don't know which leg to stand on. What they should believe. Why should their identity be removed? Why must they be punished in that way? I am so sorry for my children. I just demand the truth."

Prince Frederik's family on the left, and Prince Joachim's family on the right. Image: Getty. "Why should their identity be removed? Why must they be punished in that way?"


Countess Alexandra, the mother of Prince Joachim's two eldest sons, also told a Danish tabloid she was "shocked" by the decision.

"This came from out of the blue. The children feel excluded," Countess Alexandra said. She made similar statements to multiple other outlets too. 

A rift in the Danish royal family.

After conducting an interview with Prince Joachim, BT's royal correspondent wrote: "Once again, the glossy image is cracking. After all, there are no people who believe that this family is a united group that wants to be together. It is a disaster for the royal house."

Princess Mary publicly backed the Queen's decision.

"I can understand that it is a difficult decision to make and a very difficult decision to receive," Princess Mary told reporters. "Change can be difficult and can really hurt. But this does not mean that the decision is not the right one."

She also said that her family would look at their own children's titles "when the time comes", noting they don't know what the structure of the Danish royal family will look like when their eldest son Prince Christian is on the throne. 

Regardless of this point, Prince Joachim, and the two mothers of his kids aren't happy.

Days after the stripping of the titles announcement, Prince Joachim confirmed that he had not spoken with either Princess Mary or her husband, saying the relationship between the two sides is "complicated". They also said that Queen Margarethe had not tried talking to Prince Joachim. 


Last week in November, when asked if relations were better, Prince Joachim said it had improved but more progressed needed to be made.

"We agree in the family that there should be better communication in the future. There is a lot to work on. Communication was what was lacking. Now we have met, and we are on the right track."

How have the kids reacted?

Nikolai - Prince Joachim's eldest son - told Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet that he was sad, shocked and confused by his grandmother's decision. 

"My whole family and I are of course very sad. We are, as my parents have also stated, in shock at this decision and at how quickly it has actually gone," Prince Nikolai told reporters outside his Copenhagen apartment.


"I am very confused as to why it has to happen like this."

Nikolai, who is a model and has walked the runway for brands like Dior, said he was only informed of the decision a few days before the news went public.

"I haven't counted the days, but it can't be longer than a little over a week ago."

The other three grandchildren affected are yet to speak publicly, likely due to their age.

But interestingly, it has been widely reported that Prince Joachim, his wife and kids will be relocating to the United States, following all the drama that's taken place. Princes Joachim recently landed a new job in the defence industry in Washington.

And just before relocating in 2023, Prince Joachim and his family confirmed they will not be spending Christmas with the rest of the Danish royals...

Will other monarchies follow suit? 

The idea of 'slimming down' monarchies has been growing recently, particularly amid the critical debate surrounding royals, privilege and colonialism. Plus, it costs a lot of money to keep royal families functioning the way they are currently. 

Because the greater the size of the royal family, the greater the risk of one of its members finding themselves embroiled in controversy. Therefore, a smaller official royal family means less money and less potential drama.


In Norway for example, the royal family consists of only four people: the King and Queen, Crown Prince and Princess. 

Back in 2019, Sweden's royal family decided to slim down.

The two of the Swedish King's three kids who aren't directly in line for the thrown were confirmed to no longer be official members of the royal house. They retained their titles of prince or princess, but any future spouses or children no longer have a right to them.

One of the Swedish King's daughters said about the decision: "This change has been planned for a long time. I think it's good that our children are now getting a greater opportunity to shape their own lives as private individuals in the future."

Ultimately, all eyes are on Britain now, given King Charles III has reportedly considered restructuring the British monarchy for quite some time.

The line of succession on the royal family's website shows the 22 highest-ranking members of the royal family. King Charles however plans to reduce the monarchy to a team of just seven key members, all senior working royals, according to reports.

Let's just hope it goes down a bit smoother than with Denmark.

This article was originally published on October 2, 2022 and was updated on December 1, 2022.

Feature Image: Getty.

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