What you need to know about the Danish Royal Family title drama

Drama, that's what.

Queen Margrethe II Of Denmark And Family Celebrate Her Majesty's 76th Birthday
Queen Margrethe II Of Denmark And Family Celebrate Her Majesty's 76th Birthday
(Image credit: Luca V. Teuchmann via Getty Images)

Drama, that's what.

It's fair to say enough happens with the British Royal Family to keep royal watchers plenty occupied, but that doesn't mean other royal dynasties from around the world don't also make newsworthy moves.

In recent days, you may have heard a lot more about Queen Margrethe of Denmark than ever before. If you're wondering what on Earth is happening there, here's the rundown.

28 September: Queen Margrethe strips four of her grandchildren of titles

Last week, Queen Margrethe II announced that the children of her second son, Prince Joachim, would no longer be able to use their "Prince" and "Princess" titles from 1 January 2023. They are currently known as Prince Nikolai, Prince Felix, Princess Athena, and Prince Henrik. From next year, though, they will be known only as counts and countesses of Monpezat, and will be referred to as "their excellencies" rather than "their royal highnesses."

The official announcement read: "With her decision, 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.

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

Margrethe's eldest son, Prince Frederik, and his four children, are not affected by this specific decision.

29 September: Prince Nikolai says he's "in shock" over the Queen's decision

It became clear quite quickly after the decision was announced that it had not been fully discussed with the family members it concerned. Prince Nikolai, 23, gave an interview to Ekstra Bladet, in which he explained he and his family were upset over it, and that they had only known about the decision for a week before the general public.

"We are, as my parents have also stated, in shock at this decision and at how quickly it has actually gone," Nikolai said (via OK!). "I am very confused as to why it has to happen like this."

He added: "As I said, we were shocked. But it is clear that it hits even harder now that it has been published."

1 October: Prince Joachim reveals he hasn't spoken to the Queen since her announcement

Then, Prince Joachim and his wife Princess Marie spoke to Danish outlet B.T. about this whole ordeal and its impact on their family. Marie said they "would have liked to have had time to talk about it" with their children (via People).

Joachim added: "The reality must still be: Whether you modernise or slim down, it must be done in a proper way. It's about children. Orderliness and children. It is a very heavy matter."

He also said that he hasn't spoken to his mother Margrethe, his brother Frederik, or his sister-in-law Mary since the Queen's announcement.

3 October: Queen Margrethe issues an apology

Finally, after all the noise that surrounded her decision, Queen Margrethe issued an official statement which indicated how "sorry" she was for how her decision affected her family, but maintained that she felt her "difficult decision" was the right one.

"It is my duty and my desire as Queen to ensure that the monarchy always shapes itself in keeping with the times," she wrote. "Sometimes, this means that difficult decisions must be made, and it will always be difficult to find the right moment."

She then expressed her apologies and wishes for the future: "I have made my decision as Queen, mother and grandmother, but, as a mother and grandmother, I have underestimated the extent to which much my younger son and his family feel affected. That makes a big impression, and for that I am sorry."

She concluded: "No one should be in doubt that my children, daughters-in-law and grandchildren are my great joy and pride. I now hope that we as a family can find the peace to find our way through this situation."

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for Cosmopolitan.com in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.