Denmark’s royal family has announced that Queen Margrethe II has stripped four of her eight grandchildren of their royal titles, hoping this will make them live a more normal life.

From January 1, 2023, the children of Prince Joachim, the monarch’s second son – Princes Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20, and Henrik, 13, and Princess Athena, 10 – will no longer be referred to as princes or princesses. Instead, they “can only use their titles as counts and countess of Monpezat” and will be addressed as excellencies in the future.

The 82-year-old ceremonial head of state made her decision known in a statement released Wednesday by the Danish royal family.

“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,” the statement reads.

“All four grandchildren maintain their places in the order of succession.”

The children of Prince Joachim, centre, have been stripped of their royal titles. Pic: AP

Fifty-three-year-old Prince Joachim is currently sixth in line to the Danish throne with his children following from seventh to 10th, respectively.

The statement added that the decision is in line with “similar adjustments that other royal houses have made in various ways in recent years.”

However, it will not affect the four children of the heir to the throne, the Queen’s eldest son – Crown Prince Frederik, 54.

Prince Christian, 16, Princess Isabella, 15, and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, both 11, will retain their royal titles.

Danish heir, Crown Prince Frederik (far right), Crown Princess Mary and their children, who will retain their royal titles. Pic: AP

The Danish edition of Se og Hor celebrity magazine reported that Prince Joachim, wife Princess Marie and ex-wife, Countess Alexandra – mother to princes Nikolai and Felix – are said to be “shocked” and “confused” by the decision.

“We are all confused by the decision. We are saddened and in shock. This comes like a bolt from the blue,” Countess Alexandra said via her press adviser, according to the publication. “The children feel ostracised. They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away from them.”

Queen Margrethe was crowned in 1972 and became the longest serving monarch in Europe following the death of Queen Elizabeth II of England.

Queen Margrethe II celebrating the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne this month. Pic: AP


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