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Four grandchildren of Queen Margrethe of Denmark, who officially lost their royal prince and princess titles on New Year’s Day, have had their new titles of count and countess updated on the official royal family website. 

Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10, are the children of the queen’s youngest son Prince Joachim, 53. 

The children will keep their place in the succession after their father, who is sixth in line to the throne. 

Joachim shares Nikolai and Felix with ex-wife Alexandria, Countess of Frederiksborg, and Henrik and Athena with his current wife Princess Marie. 

The decision to remove their titles was announced in September and went into effect in the new year. 

While the queen said she made the decision in her grandchildren’s and the monarchy’s best interests, the stripping of their titles has caused tensions within the royal family. 

Queen Margrethe during her Christmas address.
Queen Margrethe during her Christmas address.
kongehuset.dk

In an October statement, the queen said she was “sorry” after she “underestimated the extent to which” Prince Joachim and his children felt affected by her decision. 

She explained that “holding a royal title involves a number of commitments and duties that, in the future, will lie with fewer members of the royal family. This adjustment, which I view as a necessary future-proofing of the monarchy, I want to take in my own time.”

In September, the palace announced that the royal titles would be “discontinued” and that they would be referred to as excellencies rather than royal highnesses. 

The grandchildren inherited their prince and princess titles upon birth and the queen bestowed their count and countess of Monpezat titles in 2008. 

“The Queen’s decision is in line with similar adjustments that other royal houses have made in various ways in recent years,” the September statement added. 

The queen sought to give her grandchildren more freedom 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.”

Prince Joachim with his sons Nikolai and Felix and wife Princess Marie.
Prince Joachim with his sons Nikolai and Felix and his wife Princess Marie.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Joachim told a Danish publication after the announcement that his family “are all very sad,” according to Entertainment Tonight. 

“It’s never fun to see your children being mistreated like that. They themselves find themselves in a situation they do not understand,” he said.

Alexandria likewise said that her children feel “ostracized” by the queen. 

The four children of the queen’s oldest son, Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, who is first in line to the throne, were not affected by the decision and maintain their HRH titles. His children are second to fifth in line. 

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