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It came as a shock last year when Queen Margrethe II of Denmark stripped Prince Joachim‘s four children of their prince and princess titles.

The 82-year-old royal has now revealed she thought that it was better for her to take action than then leave the burden to Crown Prince Frederik as the future King.

In an interview with Danish publication Ekstra Bladet she said: ‘It’s been important to me that this should never be Frederik’s lot to make that kind of decision.  

‘It’s better that I did. Because then it’s the old lady that made the decision. I am not keen to get into it to be honest. 

‘I could mention some things, but you shouldn’t have to tell everything. But it is still a little bit too private to talk about.’ 

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, 82, has now revealed she thought that it was better for her to strip their titles rather then leave the burden to Crown Prince Frederik as the future King

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, 82, has now revealed she thought that it was better for her to strip their titles rather then leave the burden to Crown Prince Frederik as the future King

It was a tumultuous year for the Danish Royal Family after the monarch stripped Prince Joachim’s children Athena, 11, Prince Felix, 20, Prince Henrik, 13, Prince Nikolai, 23, of their prince and princess titles.

They are now Counts and Countess and referred to as Their Excellencies – and in January this year the Danish Royal Family updated their website to show the new status.

Speaking in a televised New Year’s address, Margrethe admitted: ‘That the relationship with Prince Joachim and (his wife) Princess Marie has run into difficulties hurts me.

‘Difficulties and disagreements can arise in any family, including mine. The whole country has witnessed this.’

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She added that she was ‘sure that the family can enter the new year together with confidence, understanding and new courage’.

The Danish Queen (pictured with her sons and their wives) has said the decision was intended to allow Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20 - born from Joachim's first marriage - and Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10, to live normal lives without royal obligations

The Danish Queen (pictured with her sons and their wives) has said the decision was intended to allow Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20 – born from Joachim’s first marriage – and Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10, to live normal lives without royal obligations

Denmark's Prince Felix, Princess Marie, Prince Joachim, Princess Athena, Prince Henrik and Prince Nikolai in September - the children have now been stripped of their titles, and are Counts and Countesses

Denmark’s Prince Felix, Princess Marie, Prince Joachim, Princess Athena, Prince Henrik and Prince Nikolai in September

The 82-year-old monarch announced in September that the four children of her youngest son, 53-year-old Prince Joachim, would no longer be able to use the title of prince and princess after January 1. Pictured, Countess Athena

The 82-year-old monarch announced in September that the four children of her youngest son, 53-year-old Prince Joachim, would no longer be able to use the title of prince and princess after January 1. Pictured Count Henrik

The 82-year-old monarch announced in September that the four children of her youngest son, 53-year-old Prince Joachim, would no longer be able to use the title of prince and princess after January 1. Pictured, Countess Athena, left, and right, Count Henrik 

Last year, Prince Joachim publicly spoke out against his mother’s decision in the days that followed – claiming that his children born from Joachim’s first marriage to Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg – and Henrik and Athena had been ‘harmed’ in the process.

Months later, the sixth-in-line to the throne admitted that ‘communication was missing’ within the Royal Family in the lead-up to the shock announcement.

Joachim told local news outlet B.T.: ‘There is a lot to work on. Communication was what was missing. Now we have met and we are on the right track.’

Shortly after his children were stripped of his titles, Joachim claimed that he had only been given five days’ notice before the news was made public.

Following the Queen’s announcement, Joachim spoke to Danish publication Ekstra Bladet outside the Danish Embassy in Paris, where he lives with his French-born wife Princess Marie and his two youngest children, and said his four children had been ‘hurt’ by their grandmother’s decision.

Prince Joachim's children Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10, all lost their titles on January 1 2023

Prince Joachim’s children Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10, all lost their titles on January 1 2023

Out of a title: The four grandchildren who are no longer TRHs 

Nikolai of Denmark, 23: The Copenhagen Business School student and model regularly tops lists of the world’s most eligible bachelors. He lives in Denmark but has jetted around the world to walk for designers in Paris and London. Nikolai has also appeared on the cover of Vogue Scandinavia. 

Felix of Denmark, 20: Following in his brother’s footsteps, Prince Felix has also had success as a model and has starred in an advertising campaign for Georg Jensen. He had a short stint at the Royal Danish Military Academy but quit after two months because it ‘wasn’t for him’. 

Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10, of Denmark: The youngest of Prince Joachim’s four children, Henrik and Athena are the product of his second marriage to Princess Marie. They live with their parents in Paris. 

‘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

Meanwhile, his ex-wife Alexandra said that her sons, Nikolai and Felix, had been left feeling ‘ostracised’ from the institution and the decision had come like a ‘bolt out of the blue’.

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The Royal Household released a further 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.’  

She was proclaimed queen on January 15, 1972, a day after her father, King Frederik IX, died following a short illness.

Following the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Margrethe became the only living Queen in the world.

She is also now the second longest-serving monarch in the world, second only to Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, after celebrating 50 years on the throne.

She is the world’s longest-serving current head of state. While the Sultan of Brunei has been a monarch since 1967, he only became head of state in 1984 – when Brunei gained independence from the UK.

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