Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II apologizes for angering Prince Joachim, but will strip grandchildren of titles

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II admitted on Monday that she had “underestimated” how her son would react to her decision to strip her grandchildren of their royal titles – but she would stand firm nonetheless.

Margrethe, who is 82 and Europe’s longest-serving monarch, announced last week that her son Prince Joachim’s four children will no longer be called prince or princess or his/her highness. He insisted the decision had been discussed at length and would allow the grandchildren to “shape their lives to a much greater extent”.

But a furious Joachim told reporters he had been blindsided by the move, upset that his children were upset at suddenly losing their IDs. “Why should they be punished in this way?” he gasped.

He admitted that his relationship with his mother and his older brother Crown Prince Frederick, whose four children will retain their titles, was strained. Even 23-year-old Nikolai, Joachim’s eldest child, spoke out speaking to the Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet that it wasin shock’ and ‘very confused as to why it should happen like this’.

Prince Joachim and Princess Maria with their children Felix, Athena, Henry and Nikolai.

Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via Reuters

On Monday, Margrethe apologized for hurting her son and his family and admitted there had been “strong backlash” to her decision.

“I have made my decision as Queen, mother and grandmother but, as a mother and grandmother, I have underestimated the extent to which my youngest son and his family feel affected,” she said in a statement. “That makes a big impression and I’m sorry about that.”

However, he said he stood by her decision, which he described as both “long overdue” and an attempt to modernize the country’s monarchy.

“With 50 years on the throne, it is only natural that I look back and look forward. It is my duty and my desire as Queen to ensure that the monarchy is always shaped with the times. Sometimes, that means tough decisions have to be made, and the right time will always be hard to come by,” he wrote.

“Holding a royal title involves a number of commitments and duties that, in future, will fall on fewer members of the royal family. This adjustment, which I regard as necessary for the future protection of the monarchy, I wish to make in my own time.’

After apologizing to Joachim and his children, he said: “No one should doubt that my children, daughters-in-law and grandchildren are my greatest joy and pride. I hope now that as a family we can find the peace to find our way through this situation.”

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