Queen Margrethe of Denmark has lamented the reaction of her youngest son, Prince Joachim, to her decision to remove the title of prince and princess from the latter’s children, although she remains steadfast in her resolve. “I have made my decision as Queen, mother and grandmother, but, as a mother and grandmother, I have underestimated the extent to which my younger son and his family feel affected. That makes a big impression, and for that I am sorry,” she said in a statement posted Monday night.
The decision, which the Danish royal house announced last week, will come into force on January 1. In her statement the queen said that she wished these grandchildren - Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena - to be able to form their “own lives” without being tied down by the duties and obligations of the institution. The announcement was linked to a previous one from 2016, warning that Prince Christian, son of her firstborn Frederik, would probably be the only one of her eight grandchildren who will receive a state allowance as an adult.
Nikolai, 23, and Felix, 20, were born to Joachim and his first wife Countess Alexandra; while Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10, are the product of his second marriage to Princess Marie. Alexandra was the first to express “sadness” and “shock” on behalf of the family, while her ex-husband did so the next day with statements to two Danish tabloids.
Joachim said he had been informed in May that his children would lose the royal title when they turned 25, but that he was notified of the change of plans five days before the announcement. “I am very, very saddened to see them sad and not understanding what has happened to them,” said Joachim, who spoke of “punishment” and hinted that his relationship with his mother was not good.
In her last statement, Margrethe said she had been meditating her decision for some time and that her “obligation” and her “desire” were for the monarchy to adapt to the times, which from time to time implies “difficult decisions.” “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, “ she said.
“Holding a royal title involves a number of commitments and duties that, in the future, will lie with fewer members of the royal family. This adjustment, which I view as a necessary future-proofing of the monarchy, I want to take in my own time.”
Margrethe has four other grandchildren, the children of Frederik and Princess Marie: 15-year-old Christian, the second in line to the Danish throne, Isabella, 14, and the twins Vincent and Josephine, 11.