Prince Joachim admitted he struggled to find his place in Denmark’s royal family, a resurfaced interview has revealed – while his wife Princess Marie said she had ‘no choice’ but to leave Copenhagen for Paris amid an ‘internal power struggle’, according to royal commentators.
A bitter royal row within the household has unfolded in recent days after Queen Margrethe II, 82, announced she would be removing princely titles from four of her eight grandchildren, saying it is ‘for their own good’.
The official reason was to allow the four children of her younger son, Prince Joachim: Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10, to live more normal lives, and follows similar moves by other royal families in Europe to slim down their monarchies, the Danish palace said.
However, her decision has ‘upset’ her son and his four children, with Joachim insisting his mother only gave him five days’ notice – despite the Royal Household claiming the decision ‘has been a long time coming’.
But this seemingly isn’t the first time Joachim and his second wife Marie have felt alienated from the family; in 2021, the Prince told French magazine Point de Vue that, like his late father, Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark, he hadn’t manage to get his ‘place in the royal family pinned down.’
He said, via Royal Central: ‘The Crown Prince simply has to follow the course of events. However, nothing is defined for the second born son and the person’s wife, neither in writing nor in speech.
‘My father became acquainted with the same dissatisfaction and never managed to get his place in the royal family pinned down. But it is not always easy. I experience the same dissatisfaction as my father. We have to find out for ourselves, while staying within the role of number two in the row.’
This sense of isolation was echoed in earlier statements made by his wife Marie, when she candidly discussed the family’s move from Denmark to Paris – revealing ‘it is not always us who decide’.
Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary, Princess Marie and Prince Joachim of Denmark pose together at the Paris town hall on October 8, 2019
A bitter royal row within the household has unfolded in recent days after Queen Margrethe II (pictured with her sons in 2015), 82, announced she would be removing princely titles from four of her eight grandchildren, saying it is ‘for their own good’
As of January 1, Prince Nikolai, 23, Prince Felix, 20, Prince Henrik, 13, and Princess Athena, 10, will become Counts and Countesses, and will be known as Their Excellencies, it was announced on Wednesday. Pictured, the children with Prince Joachim and Princess Marie on September 11, 2022
The Danish Royal Family tree. Prince Joachim’s children Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10, will all be losing their titles on January 1 2023
The French princess told Danish magazine See and Hear: ‘No. It is not always us who decide. I think that’s important to know. I loved living in Denmark. Denmark is just such a wonderful country to be in. Everything works well and there are not many problems.’
Following the interview, Danish celebrity gossip columnist Jacob Heinel told The Daily Beast that some royal commentators in Denmark believe Joachim and Marie were ‘effectively exiled after losing an internal power struggle in the royal household’ against Frederik and Mary.
‘There was never anything in the calendar for them,’ Heinel said, before recalling the moment Marie candidly admitted of her family’s move to France: ‘I’m not going to elaborate but it wasn’t our choice. I want people to know that it wasn’t our choice.’
Prince Joachim’s family temporarily moved to Paris at the start of 2019 as the royal took part in a highly intensive six-day-a-week military training program.
He was due to return to Denmark by the end of 2020 but after suffering a stroke in the summer of that year, he decided to stay on and took up the role of defence attache at the Danish embassy in Paris.
The resurfaced interviews come as Joachim once again hit out at his mother Queen Margrethe II’s decision to strip his four children of their royal titles.
As of January 1, Prince Nikolai, Prince Felix, Prince Henrik, and Princess Athena will become Counts and Countesses, and will be known as Their Excellencies, rather than His or Her Royal Highness, it was announced on Wednesday.
Commenting on their reaction to the move to B.T., Joachim said his children ‘don’t know which leg to stand on as their identity is removed’ – and questioned ‘why must they be punished in that way?’.
The prince said: ‘I can say that my children are sad. My kids don’t know which leg to stand on. What they should believe. Why should their identity be removed? Why must they be punished in that way?’
He also doubled down on his claim that he had only been told the news five days before it was made public – despite the Royal Household insisting the decision ‘has been a long time coming’.
‘I don’t want to engage in speculation and mudslinging,’ said Joachim. ‘I am telling the truth… I was given five days notice… I was given five days’ notice of this. To tell my children that on New Year’s their identity will be taken from them.’
He added that in May, he was presented with a plan that his ‘children’s identity should be taken from them when each of them turned 25’, to which he asked ‘to be allowed to come back with my proposal’.
But he said he was given just five days notice that the decision was to be accelerated, adding: ‘I am so sorry for my children. I just demand the truth.’
Prince Joachim of Denmark (pictured) has once again hit out at his mother Queen Margrethe II’s decision to strip his four children of their royal titles
Front: Queen Margrethe, Middle Row (left to right): Prince Vincent, Princess Josephine, Princess Athena, Prince Henrik. Back row (left to right): Princess Benedikte, Princess Isabella, Crown Princess Mary, Crown Prince Frederik, Prince Christian, Prince Joachim, Princess Marie, Prince Felix and Prince Nikolai in a portrait celebrating Queen Margrethe’s Golden Jubilee
Meanwhile, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark defended her mother-in-law Margrethe’s decision to strip four of her grandchildren of their royal titles, and suggested her own children’s positions might not be secure.
Australian-born Princess Mary, 50, is the wife of Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, who is Queen Margrethe II’s eldest son and heir. Their eldest son, Prince Christian, 16, is second-in-line to the throne behind his father Frederick.
Frederick and Mary’s four children – Prince Christian, 16, Princess Isabella, 15, and twins Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent, 11 – remain unaffected by the monarch’s decision as they are direct descendants of the future King.
However speaking in Copenhagen today, Princess Mary suggested that might not always be the case.
‘We will also look at our children’s titles when the time comes,’ she said in an interview with Ekstra Bladet in Copenhagen today. ‘Today we cannot see what the royal house will look like when it is Christian’s time, or when Christian’s time begins to approach.’
Speaking in Copenhagen today (pictured) Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has defended her mother-in-law Queen Margrethe’s decision to strip four of her grandchildren of their royal titles, and suggested her own children’s positions might not be secure
Australian-born Princess Mary, 50, is the wife of Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, who is Queen Margrethe II’s eldest son and heir. Their eldest son, Prince Christian, 16, is second-in-line to the throne behind his father Frederick. Pictured, Mary and Frederick with their children (from left) Isabella, Josephine, Christian and Vincent earlier this month
Prince Joachim (right back), 53, the youngest of Margrethe’s two sons, said he was only given five days’ notice that Nikolai (left), 23, Felix (second from left), 20, Henrik (far right), 13, and Athena (second from right), 10, will have prince or princess removed from their titles, and will no longer be able to use His or Her Royal Highness. Pictured with their grandmother Queen Margrethe (centre) and Princess Isabella (behind Princess Athena)
She also defended her mother-in-law’s decision, saying: ‘Change can be extremely difficult and can really hurt. I think most people have tried it. But this does not mean that the decision is not the right one.’
She added: ‘Change really hurts, but as I said, it does not mean that the decision is not the right one. And I can understand that it is a very difficult decision to have to make, and also a very difficult decision to receive.’
It has been a whirlwind 48 hours for the Danish Royal Family, following the announcement on Wednesday that Joachim’s children would be stripped of their titles.
Queen Margrethe, 82, who attended the Queen’s funeral with Crown Prince Frederick, said she hoped the move would allow her grandchildren to ‘shape their own lives without being limited by the special considerations and duties’ that come with a formal affiliation with the Danish Royal Family.
The move has created an ‘icy’ atmosphere within the Royal Family, according to one local media report, and has driven a wedge between a seemingly united family. ‘There has never been a public conflict between the Queen and Prince Joachim,’ Danish royal reporter Kenth Madsen told FEMAIL.
Indeed, they put on a united front just weeks ago when they celebrated Queen Margrethe’s Golden Jubilee.
Speaking at a function at the National Museum in Copenhagen on Wednesday night, pictured, Margrethe said: ‘It is a consideration I have had for quite a long time and I think it will be good for them in their future. That is the reason’
Prince Nikolai said that he is sad, shocked and confused after his royal title was stripped ‘quickly’. Pictured modelling during the Dior Pre-Fall 2019 Men’s Collection show on November 30, 2018 in Tokyo
Margrethe defended her decision in an interview that night, saying: ‘It is a consideration I have had for quite a long time and I think it will be good for them in their future. That is the reason.’
However Joachim broke his silence on Thursday morning and claimed he had only been told the news five days before it was made public.
‘We are all very sad. It’s never fun to see your children being harmed. They are been put in a situation they do not understand,’ he said in an interview with Danish news outlet Ekstra Bladet.
‘I was given five days’ notice to tell them. In May, I was presented with a plan which, by and large, was that when the children each turned 25, it would happen.
‘Now I had only five days to tell them. Athena turns 11 in January,’ he clarified.
Prince Joachim, who is sixth-in-line to the throne behind his brother and his children, was speaking outside the Danish Embassy in Paris, where he lives with his second wife Marie and their children Henrik and Athena.
Nikolai and Felix, who are both models, live in Copenhagen.
His ex-wife, Countess Alexandra, the mother of his two eldest children, added in a statement to Danish magazine Se og Hør: ‘This comes like a bolt from the blue. The children feel ostracized. They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away from them.’
Her spokesperson Helle von Wildenrath Løvgreen told another news organisation that Joachim learned of his children’s fate via an aide.
Queen Margrethe spoke neither to her sons nor her grandchildren, it is claimed.
‘The children have received the message that they are losing their titles, delivered by their father, just as Countess Alexandra was told by Prince Joachim,’ the spokesperson added.
In response, the Royal Household released another statement, saying: ‘As the Queen stated yesterday, the decision has been a long time coming.
‘We understand that there are many emotions at stake at the moment, but we hope that the Queen’s wish to future-proof the Royal Household will be respected.’
Prince Nikolai, a model, also spoke out yesterday, telling Ekstra Bladet: ‘My whole family and I are of course very sad. We are, as my parents have also stated, in shock at this decision and at how quickly it has actually gone.
‘I am very confused as to why it has to happen like this,’ he told reporters from outside the Copenhagen apartment where he lives with his girlfriend.
Countess Alexandra, Prince Joachim’s ex-wife and mother to Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, is also ‘very sad’ and ‘shocked’ about the decision.
‘She can’t believe why and why now, because there’s no good reason,’ Helle von Wildenrath Løvgreen, press secretary to Countess Alexandra told CNN.
‘They would lose their titles anyway when they get married one day. Her sons are young men so maybe they might get married in the near future so why shouldn’t it wait until that day so that the titles would disappear on a happy day?’
Under the agreement, Nikolai, Felix, Henrik, and Athena will be known as either His Excellency Count of Monpezat or Her Excellency Countess of Monpezat from January 1, 2023.
However they will maintain their positions in the order of succession.
They are currently seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth, but would move down if any of Crown Prince Frederick’s children were to have children.
The bombshell announcement was made in a statement released yesterday by the Danish Royal Household.
Countess Alexandra’s press secretary questioned why the change could not have waited until their wedding day, when her sons would ‘lose their titles anyway’. Pictured, Alexandra Countess Of Frederiksborg
Nikolai modelling a short and gloves and a leather bumbag for Dior during Paris fashion week in 2020
The move is said to have driven a wedge between Margrethe and her four grandchildren. Pictured, the Queen (centre) with sons Joachim (left) and Crown Prince Frederick (right). Also pictured: Crown Prince Frederick’s wife, Crown Princess Mary (right) and son Prince Christian (in his lap) and Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix (left) who will be affected by the change
It read: ‘In April 2008, Her Majesty the Queen conferred the titles of Count, Countess and Comtesse of Monpezat on her sons, their spouses and their descendants.
‘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.
‘As a natural extension of this, Her Majesty has decided that with effect from 1 January 2023, the descendants of His Royal Highness Prince Joachim can only use their titles as Count and Countess of Monpezat, as their previous titles as Prince and Princess of Denmark will lapse.
‘Prince Joachim’s descendants will henceforth have to be addressed as Excellencies.
‘The Queen’s decision is in line with similar adaptations that other royal houses have implemented in different ways in recent years.
‘With her decision, Her Majesty the Queen wants 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.
Prince Nikolai, from left, Princess Marie, Prince Joachim and Prince Felix arrive for the command performance at the Danish Royal Theatre to mark the 50th anniversary of Danish Queen Margrethe II’s accession to the throne in Copenhagen, Saturday, September 10, 2022
Prince Nikolai of Denmark celebrated his 23rd birthday in August at home with his parents and siblings in Copenhagen. Pictured left with Prince Felxi, 20, Prince Henrick, 13 and Princess Athena, ten
Nikolai with his stepmother Princess Marie, siblings, and father Prince Joachim, on the balcony of Amalienborg palace during the Danish Queen’s 78th Birthday in April 2018
‘All four grandchildren maintain their places in the order of succession,’ concluded the statement.
Margrethe, who is the world’s longest serving queen and celebrates her Golden Jubilee this year, is affectionately known as ‘aunt Daisy’ by European royals due to her close personal ties with many reigning monarchs.
She is a first cousin of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and a second cousin of Norway’s King Harald V.
She enjoyed a close relationship with the Queen, a distant cousin, and the Duke of Edinburgh, and shared deeply personal tributes following their deaths.
She was joined by her son Crown Prince Frederick at the Queen’s funeral earlier this month.
The Queen seemingly enjoys a close relationship with both sons and all eight of her grandchildren, and makes regular appearances with both families.
However there is now said to be an ‘ice-cold air’ between the Queen and her grandchildren.
‘There is ice-cold air between Queen Margrethe and her grandchildren after she decided that they will lose their titles as prince and princess from the New Year,’ leading Danish publication Ekstra Bladet reported.
‘The news, which has crushed both the four children and their parents, was not delivered by the queen herself.
‘They have not been called to Amalienborg for a cold coke and an explanation as to why they must henceforth be addressed as counts and countesses. Not even that far.’
Both of Margrethe’s grandsons turned to modelling in their late teens. Pictured with their grandmother in May 2021
Felix made his modelling debut in February by posing in a series of moody snaps for jeweller Georg Jensen’s new Reflect collection
Left Nikolai wearing a pastel suit for Dior in 2018 at Paris Fashion Week. Right: The royal strutting his stuff on the runway in January 2020
Nikolai in a loose, tailored suit on the runway during the Dior Homme Menswear Spring/Summer 2019 in Paris in 2018
Queen Margrethe has a well-cushioned allowance, with the Danish Civil List granting her £800,813 a month, or £9.6 million for the year to run the royal household – including staff, properties and administration, according to Business Insider.
Meanwhile, Celebrity Net Worth lists her net worth at around £37million.
Around £183,750 per month is reportedly given to the Queen’s children. Crown Prince Frederik receives the largest amount of this money, of which 10 per cent is given to his wife, Princess Mary.
Many of the Danish Royal Family’s properties are owned by the state, and run by the Agency for Palaces and Cultural Properties.
This includes the main residence of Amalienborg, their spring home of Fredensborg palace, their summer house of Gråsten Palace and the hunting lodge Eremitageslottet .
The Danish Queen’s personal properties include Marselisborg Castle, Château de Caix in France, and the royal hunting lodge in Jutland at Trend.
Princess Marie with Prince Joachim, Prince Felix, Prince Nikolai, Princess Athena and Prince Henrick with Joachim’s first wife’s Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg in 2020
Queen Margrethe and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark at the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Margrethe tested positive for Covid-19 only 24 hours after Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday September 19
Queen Margrethe was pictured out and about for the first time on Monday after testing positive for Covid-19 last week. She attended a gala dinner at the Grand Hotel in Oslo after receiving the Nordic Association’s Language Award
Queen Margrethe of Denmark, 82, attended the ‘reception of the century’ at Buckingham Palace, which was hosted by King Charles and Camilla before Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral
Prince Joachim lives with his second wife Princess Marie in Paris, where he has been working as a Defense Attaché at the Danish Embassy since September 2020 – but when he returns home to Denmark it is sometimes to the Schackenborg Castle in southern Jutland.
The estate was the prince’s private residence from 1993 to 2014, before he sold the property.
But since Prince Joachim and Princess Marie are on the board of the Schackenborg Castle Foundation, they occasionally return to live there for short periods of time.
In the summer of 2020, Prince Joachim suffered a stroke while holidaying in France with his family and had to be rushed into hospital for emergency brain surgery.
Prince Joachim’s eldest sons, Felix and Nikolai, are Margrethe’s eldest grandsons and have embraced a life in the public eye.
The 20-somethings, who both live in Denmark, both enrolled in the National Military Academy but dropped out before completing their studies.
They have enjoyed flourishing careers as models, posing for several advert campaigns and on the cover of magazines.
Nikolai caught international attention in 2018 when he walked in the Burberry show at London Fashion week, before a front row that included Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Michelle Dockery, Naomi Watts, Zendaya, and Idris Elba.
He is signed to Scoop Models agency in Denmark and has been multiplying his modelling gigs.
He sent royal fans into a frenzy in February when he graced the cover of Vogue Scandinavia.
The 22-year-old oozed sophistication when appearing in the magazine and looked effortlessly stylish in a matching pink Dior jacket and trousers as he posed in front of a number of colourful flowers.
When he is not modelling, Nikolai is studying Business Administration and Service Management at the In 2019, Prince Nikolai began his B education at Copenhagen Business School.
Last year he was living in Paris as part of a school exchange, and could see his younger siblings and his dad more easily.
At the end of last year, he started training at the Royal Danish Military Academy to become an Army Lieutenant, but in October it was announced that he’d quit after just two months because it ‘wasn’t for him’.
Prince Felix chose to make his modelling debut for jeweller Georg Jensen, appearing in pictures and an advert promoting the new Reflect collection of necklaces, earrings and rings.
The royal is further down the line of succession, pursuing his own career path rather than being a ‘working royal’ was expected choice for Felix even before his grandmother’s announcement, and modelling is certainly a popular choice for minor royals across the globe.
While they are growing to be their own person, Felix and Nikolai do attend royal events on occasion.
They both looked very dapper as they attended the celebrations for their grandmother’s golden jubilee with their parents in early September.
Margrethe tested positive for Covid-19 last Tuesday, just 24 hours after attending Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral and mourning events in London.
She was in attendance at Westminster Abbey along with her son Crown Prince Frederik, and the two went on to the Queen’s Committal Service in Windsor afterward.
The royal also paid her respects to the Queen by visiting her coffin in Westminster Hall the night before the Queen’s funeral, and attended the Buckingham Palace ‘reception of the century’ where she was pictured chatting closely with King Charles.
On Monday, the monarch made her first appearance since she tested positive for Covid, joining Queen Sonja of Norway at a literary event in Oslo.
Queen Sonja of Norway presented the Nordic Association’s annual language award to Queen Margrethe of Denmark at Nordens Hus before they attended a gala at the Grand Hotel.
Margrethe wore a vibrant long pink skirt for the gala dinner, which she paired with a navy blue lace top.
She pinned her hair tightly back and was pictured with a navy shawl over her shoulders as she arrived at the Grand Hotel.