Queen Margrethe explains why she stripped her grandchildren of their royal titles

It was a move that solicited backlash, but the Danish queen has stuck by her decision.
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On 1 January 2023, the children of Prince Joachim were officially stripped of their royal titles following their grandmother Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s decision in late 2022.

The monarch’s official website was updated to reflect that the four children will no longer carry the His or Her Royal Highness or be known as Prince or Princess, but rather will be identified as Count or Countess of Monpezat.

This means thy will be able to pursue lives and careers outside the monarchy as non-working royals, a decision the Queen “sees as necessary”.

However, the decision was followed by global outrage including from the monarch’s own son, Prince Joachim and his wife Princess Marie were among the critics who claimed the move was unfair on their children.

Prince Joachim with his two eldest children, Nikolai (right) and Felix (left), wife Marie (second left) and their two children, Athena (third right) and Henrik (second left).

(Credit: (Image: Getty))

Athena is bullied at school. They come and say: ‘Is it you who is no longer a princess?'” Marie told Danish news outlet BT. “I think I have to defend our children now.”

She claimed the Queen’s decision ‘blindsided’ her, Joachim and their children, while the prince said they family were “very sad” about the change.

Margrethe responded to the backlash from her own family in a lengthy statement, where she defended her decision to revoke Prince Nikolai, 23, Prince Felix, 20, Prince Henrik, 13, and 10-year-old Princess Athena’s HRH titles.

“There have been strong reactions in recent days to my decision to the future use of titles for Prince Joachim’s four children. Of course, it affects me,” the statement began.

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“My decision has been long made. With my 50 years on the throne, it’s only natural to look back and to look forward.”

The long-serving monarch noted that it’s her “duty” to ensure that the monarchy remains strong throughout her reign and beyond, a duty which “sometimes requires making difficult decisions”.

“Finding the right time will always be difficult,” she continued, adding that the royal titles she revoked would have “restrained” her grandchildren in the future.

Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik’s children have not been affected by the change.

Queen Margrethe (centre) with Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik and their children.

(Credit: (Image: Getty))

Now, the Danish Queen, has given a deeper insight into her decision in a recent interview, revealing her true motives for taking the titles as she spoke about the future of the monarchy.

Margrethe, at the age of 82, is looking towards the future of the Danish Royal Family, and with her eldest son Crown Prince Frederik next in line to take the throne, she didn’t want to pass that decision on to him to make.

“For me, it has been important that it should not be Frederik’s lot to make such a decision. It was better that it was me,” she told Weekendavisen’s editor-in-chief, Martin Krasnik.

“When I let go of the reins, he’s there. I am a link in a very long chain that continues, and I believe that he will probably find that out,” she said.

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