Queen Margrethe II stripped her grandkids of royal titles. So they didn't attend the proclamation.

For years, the world has been talking about the ongoing, highly publicised feud involving Prince William, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle

But there's been another similarly intense drama unfolding for literal decades within the Danish royal family, involving several members, from Queen Margrethe II to her sons, Prince Frederick and Prince Joachim, their wives Princess Mary and Princess Marie... and even her eight grandchildren. 

While news of the feud between the monarch's sons made headlines back in September 2022, the brothers have had a contentious relationship for years. Now, four of Queen Margrethe's grandchildren will not be in attendance to watch their uncle, Prince Frederick, and aunt, Princess Mary, take the throne on January 14. 

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Video via Sunrise.

For those who haven't kept up to date with the Danish royal drama, the country was shocked when Queen Margrethe II announced in 2022 that she would be stripping all four of her son Prince Joachim’s children of their HRH titles in. Nikolai, 24, and his younger siblings, Felix, 21, Henrik, 14 and Athena, 11, are now referred to as counts and countesses.

"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 read at the time of Margrethe's decision.


"With her decision, 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 monarch defended her decision to the media, who said it would be "good for them in their future".

"It is a consideration I have had for quite a long time," Queen Margrethe said, per Town & Country.

But for Prince Joachim and his family, the decision felt like a blindside. After all, he claimed he was only given five days' notice before the rest of the world learned of his children's new status (although the Danish Royal Household said the family was informed months earlier in May).


"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?" the royal told B.T in September 2022. 

Prince Nikolai even weighed in on the decision.

"We are, as my parents have also stated, in shock at this decision and at how quickly it has actually gone. I don’t understand why it had to happen this way," he told the media back in 2022, per Hello Magazine.

The rift between the family seemed to deepen when Queen Margrethe shared another statement – appearing to confirm her guilt over the ordeal.

"I have made my decision as Queen, mother and grandmother," she said. "But, as a mother and grandmother, I have underestimated the extent to which much my younger son and his family feel affected."

In June 2023, Prince Joachim took his wife and two youngest kids to Washington D.C. in his new role as attaché to the Danish embassy, creating an even more permanent barrier between his wife and children, and the rest of his family.


However, the Princes' feud existed long before 2022.

The pair have reportedly harboured a grudge over their respective roles, with Prince Joachim – who's just a year younger than his elder brother Frederik — said to be frustrated with his brother's "lax attitude" to his royal duties.

Now, with Frederik set to ascend the throne, it seems his nieces and nephews, Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena, along with Joachim's wife, Princess Marie, won't be there to witness the historic event.

Prince Frederik's family (left), and Prince Joachim's family (right). Image: Getty.


"I assume that she has been invited, and then it may be that she doesn’t want to, or she may be prevented – she may be ill, or it may be that she has to look after the children," royal commentator Kim Bach said of Princess Marie, per Sydney Morning Herald.

"It is also conceivable that she still hasn’t swallowed the camel completely in relation to the children’s titles, so she can’t bear to sit with the family. However, they spent Christmas together, which speaks against that being the case. Unless Christmas was that terrible."

Royal commentator Angela Mollard said there had been "no suggestion" Prince Joachim's children would attend either. 

"This, of course, stemmed from when the Queen stripped Prince Joachim’s children of their titles — the four of them in late 2022 [were] Princes and Princesses, they were made Count and Countesses," Mollard told Sky News 

"At the time, of course, they didn’t know this was about to happen, even though it was apparently discussed, she came in quickly with this decision, and it caused a split in the family.

"Mary even stood up for the Queen at that time, saying that these decisions do hurt, but, of course, the family have spent time together subsequent to that split, but the younger brother and his family have moved to Washington now, so they’re not that close.

"We think that the younger brother is going to come to the proclamation, but as for his wife and the four children, there’s no suggestion that they are going to be there."


A palace spokesperson has downplayed any suggestion that it's rivalry or the 2022 stripping of the children's titles that's keeping the majority of the family away, saying, "Prince Joachim will be there, but the children go to school, there is no special reason." (Of course, at 24 and 21, Nikolai and Felix probably don't have to go to school, but we'll just... put that aside.)

Someone who will be there to celebrate Prince Frederik and Princess Mary's accession to the throne is the Australian-born royal's sister Jane Stephens, who has flown in from Hobart.

While an official guest list has not been released, both the British and Swedish royal families have confirmed they would not attend the royal succession in Denmark. 

Queen Margrethe, 83, became Europe’s longest-reigning monarch following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in late 2022. She made a major announcement on New Year’s Eve 2023 that she would abdicate on the 52nd anniversary of her accession to the throne this Sunday.

"I have decided that now is the right time. On 14 January 2024 – 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father – I will step down as queen of Denmark," she said. "I leave the throne to my son, Crown Prince Frederik."

Feature Image: Morten Abrahamsen/Instagram @detdanskekongehus.

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