Princess Marie of Denmark and her husband Prince Joachim appeared tearful during a recent interview with Danish publication B.T. The couple were discussing the removal of their children’s royal titles — a decision announced by Queen Margrethe II days earlier. From January 2023, four of the monarch’s grandchildren — Prince Nikolai, Prince Felix, Prince Henrik and Princess Athena — will be stylised as the Count and Countess of Monpezat. According to B.T., Marie and Joachim were approached by a French woman during the interview who told them their children will always be Princesses in her eyes which left “the couple speechless and they both [began] to cry because they [were] so touched”. It is understood that the decision was made by the Queen in a bid to slim down the monarchy, a trend that seems to be affecting several European royal houses, including the British Royal Family.
Now, a royal commentator has identified another similarity between the House of Glücksburg and the House of Windsor in Marie and Meghan Markle.
Writing for Australian outlet 9 Honey this week, royal reporter Natalie Oliveri claimed Marie and Meghan now have “common ground”. She claimed: “Just like the House of Windsor in Britain, the House of Glücksburg has found itself at the centre of a very unwelcome scandal.
“In a way, Princess Marie’s choice to speak out against the family she married into is similar to how the Duchess of Sussex has handled her own unhappiness in an institution she came into in her late-30s…”
She continued: “While Crown Princess Mary and Catherine, the Princess of Wales, have a warm working relationship — grounded in what many suspect to be a genuine friendship — it seems Princess Marie and Meghan, too, have common ground.”
READ MORE: The inside story of Denmark’s royals: Feuds, jealousy, and the big title cull
But the Princess did reveal that her daughter, Princess Athena, had been “bullied” at school after the decision to take her title away was declared. According to Danish royal commentators, this was “an attack” on the Crown Princess, who has been advocating against bullying through her work with The Mary Foundation.
B.T. journalist Jacob Heinel Jensen suggested the comments had been carefully chosen. He claimed: “I cannot interpret it as anything other than an attack on Crown Princess Mary, it was a direct message. Marie has had several days to think about what she wanted to say after it emerged that the titles had been taken from the children. So it is probably carefully selected.
“It is clear that when she takes something as bullying and deliberately uses the expression ‘children’s conditions,’ it cannot be interpreted differently than that she wants to draw attention to the fact that the Royal House — and therefore the Crown Princess — must be aware of what is for some values that you stand for on the outside.”
Like Kate, Mary has not said anything publicly about her sister-in-law and she took a diplomatic approach when asked about the family situation. During an official engagement last month, she said: “Change can be difficult and can really hurt, but this does not mean that the decision is not the right one,” adding she and Frederik would “look at our own children’s titles when the time comes”.
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Mary and Frederik have four children — Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine — whose titles were not affected by Margrethe’s decision; the focus has now shifted to the family of six with emphasis being placed on the future of the monarchy. It harks back to Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations when the late monarch drew attention to the future of the British monarchy by standing alongside her three heirs — then-Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George — and their families at the end of the four-day weekend. Interestingly, shortly before Margrethe made her announcement, she celebrated her own Jubilee — marking 50 years on the throne.
It was this focus on the then-Cambridges that Meghan reportedly struggled with, not understanding that despite her and Harry’s success, the hierarchy of the Royal Family remained the most important factor. So, perhaps contributed to by their ranking within the Firm, in 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex relinquished their royal duties and moved abroad, something that Marie and Joachim did one year earlier.
In 2019, the Prince and Princess moved to France where Joachim later began a diplomatic post at the Danish embassy in Paris; Marie became a Special Representative at the Culture department. Their roles within the Royal Family have been cut back in recent years, with Joachim acknowledging he now had “greater freedom” to pursue his own interests in early 2022.
However, unlike the Sussexes, Marie suggested that the decision to move was not theirs, saying she viewed it as “a winding down” of her family’s role in the monarchy. Speaking to B.T., she insisted that they still had an “active role in the Royal House,” but admitted that they had prepared their children to be “independent” as “they will not get appanage (financial support),” concluding “but it is something else to take away a name”.
Disagreements over titles are another subject that Meghan and Marie find common ground on, with Ms Oliveri claiming: “They are seemingly obsessed and preoccupied with the titles belonging to their children and the support on offer to them from the Crown.”
The Duchess of Sussex first expressed frustration over her children’s titles during her interview with Oprah, claiming that Archie would be denied a princely title. She also indicated that her children’s security would be under greater threat without the royal titles.
Fast-forward two years and all eyes are on King Charles III as the subject of three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet’s titles have been thrust back into the spotlight. Now Charles is monarch, his two grandchildren technically have the right to be known as prince and princess.
But if the European trend of slimming down the monarchy is anything to go by, Harry and Meghan may soon find their children without those titles. Marie and Joachim’s children appear to be the latest victims of Europe’s royal families’ attempt to future-proof their institutions.