On Wednesday, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark decided that four of her grandchildren will shift gears and become the artists formerly known as prince and princess. The longest-serving monarch and Europe’s only reigning queen now that Lizzie has succumbed to old age, has seen the familial turmoil that’s ravaged her British neighbors and has decided to avoid it by stripping her descendants of their titles. Basically, she said, “OK kids, get a job!”
The palace released a statement that read:
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.
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 four grandchildren losing their titles are Nikolai, Felix, Henrik, and Athena, and they are the children of Margrethe’s second son, Prince Joachim, from two different marriages. (Pausing to acknowledge how chic all of these names are.) Countess Alexandra, Prince Joachim’s first wife, is not happy about this. Her representative told CNN that she is “sad” and “in shock,” which are two of the worst ways a royal can feel (after “betrayed” and “listless”). The representative continued that Alexandra “can’t believe why and why now, because there’s no good reason.”
Uhm, there is definitely a good reason, and it’s that this is the year 2022, and being a prince or princess doesn’t mean anything. Look, all that title got Prince Harry is a lot of family trauma and a podcast. I can throw a beer can in a bar in Brooklyn and hit three guys who all have those things, too. Monarchies are obsolete, and I like to think Queen Margrethe knows that and is trying to trim the fat. Also, personally, I absolutely love someone who has enjoyed the fruits of royalty into their old age only to turn back around to their progeny and be like, “You shouldn’t live like this.”
Alexandra isn’t the only one who is upset: A woman named Von Wildenrath Løvgreen, who is speaking on behalf of Joachim and his new wife, told CNN that Joachim “nearly cried” and that (soon to be former) Prince Nikolai wailed, “What will they write in my passport now?” OK, updating your passport and ID is hard, I will give Nikolai that. But like, babe, read the gilded palatial room.
Wildenrath Løvgreen told CNN that the grandchildren, who are going to have to familiarize themselves with LinkedIn, have not spoken with their grandmother since the decision was made. To be fair, it’s been two days—I’d take a gander and say that’s a normal amount of time for grandkids to not ring their grandmother.
It’s worth noting that the children of Joachim’s older brother, Crown Prince Frederik, are keeping their royal titles. The drama! This all feels very Wills and Harry 2.0, and I’m happy to extend my royal gossip obsession a bit further east to Scandinavia.