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On the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day – four royals stripped of their titles in major shake-up

Joachim, Marie, Alexandra, Nikolai, Felix, Henrik, Athena

Four members of the Danish Royal Family woke up with new titles this morning after Queen Margrethe’s shock decision to remove her grandchildren’s titles came into effect.

As of today, all four children of Prince Joachim—Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena—are to be known as Count and Countess of Monpezat after Queen Margrethe decided to remove their prince/princess titles.

In September, Queen Margrethe made the shock announcement that she wished to remove their titles in order for them to have greater freedom without royalty restricting their careers and lives.

The decision was met with great controversy by Prince Joachim and his family, with the adults speaking out in interviews condemning the move. Queen Margrethe issued an apology shortly thereafter for any hurt feelings but did not reverse her decision.

In her annual New Year’s Eve speech last night, Queen Margrethe highlighted the controversial decision and the ripple effect it had on her relationship with Prince Joachim, Princess Marie and their grandchildren. She said:

“For most of us, family is one of the most important things in our lives. We follow how our children develop and how they tackle life’s challenges in their own way. We rejoice, and we worry, and we so want them to be well.

“I embrace my entire family with great love at all times. Difficulties and disagreements can arise in any family, including mine. The whole country has witnessed this.

“That the relationship with Prince Joachim and Princess Marie has run into difficulties hurts me.

“We have now had a time of more peace and reflection, and I am sure that the family can enter the new year together with confidence, understanding and new courage.”

Queen Margrethe continued, “All my eight grandchildren are my great joy. How big they have become, how time flies! In October, Prince Christian turns 18, it will be an anniversary that we are all looking forward to.”

Prince Joachim announced in the fall that he plans to step down from his military attaché role in Paris at the end of the summer. He and Princess Marie and their children will move to the United States as he takes up a new position in the defence industry.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.