The British royal family isn’t the only monarchy undergoing a shakeup. Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II announced on Wednesday that four of her grandchildren’s royal titles will change.
In a statement via the Danish Royal Director of Communications, the children of Prince Joachim — who is the monarch’s youngest son — Prince Nikolai, 23, Prince Felix, 20, Prince Henrik, 13, and Princess Athena, 10, and their descendants will go by Count/Countess of Monpezat.
Their prince and princess titles will be ‘discontinued’ at the start of 2023.
“In April 2008, Her Majesty The Queen bestowed upon her sons, their spouses and their descendants the titles of count and countess of Monpezat. In May 2016, it was also announced that His Royal Highness Prince Christian, as the only one of The Queen’s grandchildren, is expected to receive an annuity from the state as an adult,” the statement read.
“As a natural extension of this, Her Majesty has decided that, as of 1 January 2023, His Royal Highness Prince Joachim’s descendants can only use their titles as counts and countess of Monpezat, as the titles of prince and princess that they have held up until now will be discontinued. Prince Joachim’s descendants will thus have to be addressed as excellencies in the future,” the statement continued.
The statement noted that the decision by the 82-year-old monarch was made to simply fall in line with similar adjustments made by other royal houses.
“The Queen’s decision is in line with similar adjustments that other royal houses have made in various ways in recent years,” it read. “With her decision, Her Majesty The Queen wishes to create the framework for the four grandchildren to be able to shape their own lives to a much greater extent without being limited by the special considerations and duties that a formal affiliation with the Royal House of Denmark as an institution involves. All four grandchildren maintain their places in the order of succession.”
Prince Joachim shares his two oldest children with his ex-wife, Alexandria, Countess of Frederiksborg. His children, Henrik and Athena, are with his current wife, Princess Marie, whom he married in 2008.
Following the announcement, Alexandria spoke out about the change, noting that her children feel “ostracized” by the queen’s decision.
In a statement to B.T., her translated message said, “We are all confused by the decision. We are saddened and in shock,” adding, “This comes like a bolt from the blue. The children feel ostracized. They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away from them.”
Queen Margrethe II’s other grandchildren include Prince Christian, 16, Princess Isabella, 15, and 11-year-old twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, whose father, Prince Frederick of Denmark, is heir to the throne.