Denmark's Queen Margrethe apologises for stripping grandchildren of royal titles

Danish monarch's decision has led to those affected voicing their discontent in the media

Queen Margrethe said she had 'underestimated' the extent to which younger son Prince Joachim and his family would be affected. AFP
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Denmark's Queen Margrethe has apologised for stripping four of her eight grandchildren of their royal titles, after the move caused upset in the family.

"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.

Europe's longest-serving monarch, who contracted Covid-19 after attending the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, announced her decision last week, to "allow the four children of her youngest son, Prince Joachim, to live more normal lives".

"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 supporting statement said.

While the titular paring back follows similar moves by other royal families in Europe to slim down their monarchies, it was poorly received by Prince Joachim, whose four children from two marriages — Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena — 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.

"It's never fun to see your children being mistreated like that," the indignant prince told Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet. "They find themselves in a situation they do not understand."

His wife Princess Marie said youngest child Athena had been bullied at school following the "short-notice" proclamation. Last week she told Danish media she was "shocked" by the decision.

The queen's four other grandchildren, born to Crown Prince Frederik, 54, will retain their titles but when they come of age only the future king, Prince Christian, will receive an appanage, a decision taken in 2016.

Updated: October 04, 2022, 12:34 PM
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