Denmark’s popular monarch, Queen Margrethe IIapologized for upsetting her family members a the decision on deprivation of royal titles from her four grandchildren, but refused to change her mind.

Last week, the royal palace of Europe’s oldest royal monarchy announced that from January 1, the four children of Margret’s youngest son, Prince Joachim, will no longer be called prince or princess, but will instead be called counts or countesses of Montpeys, their birth titles. of her late Prince Henry of French descent. They are to be addressed as “Excellencies” and will retain their places in the Danish order of succession.

Prince Felix, Princess Marie, Prince Joachim, Princess Athena, Prince Henrik and Prince Nicholas arrive for a lunch on the royal yacht Dannebrog in Copenhagen on September 11, 2022 during the 50th anniversary of Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II’s accession to the throne.

MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

“It is my duty and my desire as Queen to ensure that the monarchy is always shaped with the times. Sometimes that means tough decisions have to be made and it will always be difficult to find the right moment,” Margrethe, 82, said in a statement released by the royal family on Monday.

“This adjustment … I see as a necessary preparation of the monarchy for the future,” said Europe’s only reigning queen and the continent’s longest-serving monarch. She did not change her decision.

“I made the decision as a queen, mother and grandmother. But as a mother and grandmother, I underestimated the extent of the influence of my youngest son and his family. It makes a big impression, and I apologize for that. “, Margrethe said in a statement.

Commenting hours after the palace’s announcement on September 28, a visibly emotional Joachim told the Ekstra Bladet daily newspaper in Paris, where he lives and works, that “everyone is very sad”.

“It’s never fun to see your children treated like this. They find themselves in a situation they don’t understand,” said 53-year-old Joachim.

The change affects his four children: Prince Nicholas, Prince Felix, Prince Henrik and Princess Athena. When asked how this decision affected his relationship with his mother, Joachim replied: “I don’t think I need to elaborate here.”

Joachim’s first wife, Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksberg, mother of Nicholas and Felix, said they were confused, saddened and shocked.

“Children feel ostracized. They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away,” said Alexandra.

Joachim has been married to Princess Marie since 2008, and she is the mother of his two youngest children, Henrik and Athena.

Margret’s youngest son, who has been the defense attache at the Danish embassy in Paris since September 2020, said he was given five days’ notice of the change. He said he was originally presented with a plan in May that called for the children’s titles to be revoked when they reached the age of 25.

Margret’s decision was in line with steps other royals have taken in various ways in recent years. In 2019, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden announced that the children of his youngest children, Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Philip, would lose their royal titles. His eldest daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, is heir to the throne, followed by her children. They will retain their titles.

In Denmark, which has a constitutional monarchy, the heir to the throne is Crown Prince Frederik. His eldest son, Prince Christian, is next in line, followed by Frederick’s three younger children.

The queen, who traces her lineage back to the Vikings, is known as “Daisy”. She became Queen on 14 January 1972 after the death of her father, King Frederick IX.

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe inspects a guard of honor as she arrives for a gala banquet at Christiansborg Palace on September 11, 2022, during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images