Thursday, September 29, 2022

Prince Joachim's response

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 Prince Joachim of Denmark responded today regarding Queen Margrethe's decision to change the style of his four children from HH Prince and HH Princess to Counts and Countess of Monpezat, effective January 1, 2023.

He spoke to the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet in Paris, where the Prince lives with his wife, Princess Marie and their two children, Henrik, 13, and ten-year-old Athena/

" We are all very sad. It's never fun to see your children being mistreated like that. They themselves are in a situation that they themselves do not understand."  ,

Prince Joachim told the reporter that in May he was presented with a plan about his children's titles, but the changes would not be made until each child turned 25.

He was also asked about his relationship with his mother, Queen Margrethe II.

 "I don't think I need to elaborate here,"  Prince Joachim tersely responded.

The Prince was also interviewed by B.T.

"I was given five days' notice of this. To tell my children that on New Year's their identity will be taken from them. I am very, very sorry to see them bored and uncomprehending about what is happening over their heads," he said during the telephone interview.

"On May 5, I was presented with a plan. That this whole thought about my children's identity should be taken from them when each of them turned 25. Athena turns 11 in January. And then I was given five days' notice as the decision was accelerated," he said.

The reporter asked Joachim:  "Why do you think it was sped up?

"I simply don't know that. I originally asked for time to think and give my feedback. That would also be taken into account."

The Queen, the reporter said, thinks the decision is for her grandchildren.   "What do you think about that?"

Prince Joachim responded: "I can say that my children are upset. 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?"

"Can you try to explain why this is so important to you?"   

"I don't want to engage in speculation and mudslinging. I am telling the truth that is. I was given five days' notice. And the original plan that was presented, it was called 25 years. And I asked to be allowed to come back with my proposal. And then it was all done for this upcoming New Year,' he says.

The Prince added that "the whole family is affected by the situation. I am so sorry for my children. I just demand the truth."  

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The Prince and Princess moved to Paris in September 2019 where Joachim completed his military training at the Ecolé Militaire.  They were supposed to live in France for a year, but after he graduated in the summer of 2020, the Danish court announced that Prince Joachim was named as a defense attaché and was "supposed to act as a link between the French and Danish forces."

This position was expected to run for three years, although the assignment could be extended.  A year later, in October 2021, Princess Marie was hired as a "Special Cultural Representative" in the cultural department at the Danish Embassy in Paris.    The position was created to celebrate "Danish culture and cooperation."

At the time of her appointment, French-born Princess Marie said: "In my new role, I am looking forward to continuing to look after Danish interests -- especially in the field of culture -- in the coming years."

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 Prince Nikolai has also spoken out about his grandmother's decision.  He spoke to Ekstra Bladet earlier today as he came out of his apartment in Copenhagen.  He was accompanied by his long-time girlfriend Benedikte Thoustrup.  He told the reporter that he was angry, disappointed, and "does not understand his grandmother's decision at all."

He said: "My whole family and I are of course very sad. We are, as my parents have also stated, in shock at this decision", adding "I am very confused  as to why it has to happen like this."


Oxford English Dictionary

Losing a title does not qualify as mistreatment.  None of Joachim's children will be living on the streets on January 1.  They have roofs over their heads.  Private education.  Designer labels on their clothes.  They all own more than one pair of shoes.  They probably benefit from trust funds.  Closets full of clothes.  Allowances from mom and dad.  Money in the bank. Food on the table.  More food in the fridge and in the cupboards. New cars.  More toys.  

Joachim, your children will be able to stand on both legs on January 1.   They will be fine.  In time, you realize this.  Your mother is your Sovereign and she is the one with the power to decide who is titled and who is not.

Perhaps you should focus on more wine from the Chateau de Cayx and less whine to the press.

They will have a new name on their passports - but they can still travel. Nikolai can continue to model although he will cease to be a model prince.  Queen Margrethe II remains his grandmother.  He and his siblings are much loved by their families.

No one has been mistreated, Prince Joachim.  If monarchy is to survive -- and I am a constitutional monarchist -- it must adapt in order to survive.  Limiting royal titles to the main line is not revolutionary.  George V's 1917 Letters Patent began the process that will soon be refined by Charles III.  In 1987, Spain limited the HRH and title of Infant of Spain to the children of the monarch and the children of the Prince or Princess of the Asturias.

Your four children will not be working royals.  Your children will accomplish much in life but they will be doing it on their terms.  They will not be defined by HH Prince or Princess because they will have no role within the monarchy.  

European sovereigns no longer need to arrange marriages for political or dynastic reasons.  The job description has changed, focusing on supporting charities, patronages, and organizations - all working for the Sovereign and the country.  Denmark does not need 12 princes and princesses to carry out official duties on behalf of the Queen.

Denmark, as with other western nations, is suffering from inflation, and rising energy and housing costs.  

This is perhaps not the best time for Joachim to be stomping his feet.  He does not like what Mor has done, but she is his Queen.  Margrethe II knows what she is doing.  She is setting up the future for Frederik X and Queen Mary and their family.  

Only Prince Christian's children will be royal.  

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He reminds me of his late great-uncle, Prince Knud (1900-1976), who lost his position as heir presumptive to the throne when Denmark modified its succession from Salic (males only) to male primogeniture.   Knud's older brother, King Frederik IX (1899-1972) married Princess Ingrid of  Sweden.  They had three daughters, Margrethe, Benedikte, and Anne-Marie.  Knud's wife was his first cousin, Princess Caroline Mathilde of Denmark.  They had one daughter, Princess Elisabeth, and two sons, Prince Ingolf and Prince Christian.

Until the new succession law was passed,  Prince Knud and Prince Ingolf were first and second in line to the throne.  Knud voiced his profound disappointment in the new law as he was no longer the heir to the throne.  This caused bitterness and friction between the brothers and their families.  Knud was allowed to retain his title as Hereditary Prince and he and his elder son received a lifetime annuity to make up for the change in their position.   But Knud harbored deep resentment toward his brother and Queen Ingrid for the rest of his life.

Ingolf and his younger, Christian lost their rights to the throne as both princes married without King Frederik IX's permission.  They also lost their royal titles and were created Counts of Rosenborg.

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In 2009. a new succession law was passed, allowing for the succession of the firstborn child, regardless of sex.  

Just getting over the death and funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and now a new Danish drama to content with, I can definitely use a large coffee.


Janet said...

Excellent assessment of the Danish "drama". Sounds like Joachim and Alexandra are creating a situation for their children that is completely unnecessary--the parents are whining and making this a more difficult situation that necessary and bringing the children into it. To be honest, Joachim and Marie are barely working royals for the Danish monarchy since they now live and work in Paris. Queen Margrethe does not deserve to be publicly bashed and both Joachim and Alexandra owe her an apology.

pollito said...

Of course the Queen can change the rules about who is and who is not a Prince of Denmark, but usually those changes are meant for the future. They should not involve an actual stripping of titles which were not graciously bestowed by the Queen but Joachim's children right according to their House rules. I interpret this as a punishment.

pollito said...

Of course the Queen can change the rules about who is and who is not a Prince of Denmark, but usually those changes are meant for the future. They should not involve an actual stripping of titles which were not graciously bestowed by the Queen but Joachim's children right according to their House rules. I interpret this as a punishment.

Andrew said...

Nikolai seems to want to work as a model rather than to take on royal duties. I think his parents should be more mature. Queen Margrethe has made the right move.

Andrea said...

A good decision.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Nikolai and his siblings were never going to be carrying out engagements .. they will be wearing their own livings .. also they are HH not HRH

Claire said...

Joachim and his family are of course entitled to feel how they feel about this situation, but I was surprised he expressed it so openly in public. Definitely not a good "look" to complain about such things. I was reminded the gracious responses of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeline of Sweden when the King made a similar decree for his grandchildren who were not in the direct line for the throne 2 or 3 years ago. I suppose it's a little different in that the Swedish grandchildren retained the princely titles but lost their HRH status, but Joachim certainly compares poorly here to his Swedish cousins - in my opinion.

Unknown said...

I am in agreement that the monarch has the right to decide, however, I feel like the children are being punished for something their father may or may not have done. The situation could have been handled much more elegantly. They could have retained their Prince or Princess designation as personal titles only, and lost their HH titles. Then had the Prince(ss) removed at 25 as discussed, or any other variation of a compromise. Then for Christian's younger sons or Vincent's sons, they would not be given the HH or Prince(ss) but would be known from birth as Count or Countess, and use that model going forward for the monarchy. I also disagree with the assessment that Joachim and his children are being petulant and entitled. None of them mention loss of monetary comforts, but are struggling with their place in the family. I would imagine as a child, it would be confusing and hurtful to feel like one day you were good enough, and the next day not. I would also imagine it's similar to how step-children or adopted children feel, as if they are always different, not quite as good, not quite as accepted, not really part of, especially when the one effecting these changes is your grandmother.

1971 said...

Interesting to hear from Nikolai's comment that he expected to lose his title on marriage anyway.

Juergen said...

First of all, Denmark does not have an energy problem. The Danes are fine. I was in Copenhagen 3 weeks ago. My Danish tour guide told me this. Denmark shakes its head at Germany's dependence on the Russians.
It's not about designer clothes in the closet. It's about the identity of Prince Nicolai and his siblings. He is 23 years Danish. What's he supposed to do with a French name? He is stripped of his Danish identity. As if I was suddenly given an English name as a German. If the children of the four siblings are no longer princes from birth, I can understand that. Not like that. Not if you were born a prince.

Jürgen Schulz
Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Andrew said...

They are still Excellencies and Counts and Countess of Monpezat, their grandfather's title. I can understand that a 12 year old girl could be sensitive about it, but that is an opportunity for her parents to explain it to her maturely. It's a storm in a Royal Copenhagen porcelain tea cup.

Mrs. Butterworth said...

How is losing a title that you will not use a punishment. They have other titles and they are not working royals. The parents are acting very selfishly and not setting a good example for their children. Entitlement indeed. The Swedish Royal family behaved much better when the titles of their children were changed.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Jürgen, In 2008, Queen Margrethe II gave the title Count or Countess Monpezat in the Danish nobility to her two sons and legitimate patrilineal descendants (male and female)

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Andrew Henrik's "count" title was not real

Andrew said...

People do not need to have 'native' names.

- said...

Marlene, Knud behaved much better and respectively than Joachim when he and his son lost their prospects of becoming kings, which is a way more serious change than the title, I think. He made sure that his disagreement to the changes were put on the record of the Council of State. Thus, he voiced his opinion in a strong yet diplomatic way.