The royal palace announced on Wednesday that the children of Prince Joachim, Queen Margrethe's second son, will no longer have their prince/princess or "His/Her Highness" titles. Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10 will instead be known by His Excellency Count of Monpezat or Her Excellency Countess of Monpezat starting on January 1, 2023.
"We are all confused by the decision. We are saddened and in shock," Alexandra said in a statement from her press advisor Helle von Wildenrath Løvgreen, according to Danish magazine Se og Hør. "This comes like a bolt from the blue. The children feel ostracized. They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away from them."
Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Prince Nikolai, Countess Alexandra and Prince Felix
Saad Salman of the Royal Watcher reported that the communications person of the Danish Royal Court said Prince Joachim, 53, was told about the titles change in May and has been "involved and oriented throughout the process."
IDA MARIE ODGAARD/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg
Earlier this month, Alexandra walked a red carpet as she attended Queen Margrethe's Golden Jubilee celebrations, marking 50 years on the throne, at the Danish Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.
Prince Joachim got remarried to Princess Marie in 2008, and they later welcomed Prince Henrik and Princess Athena.
Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Queen Margrethe with Prince Joachim and his family
"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," the palace said in the statement.
The decision does not pertain to the four children of Crown Prince Frederik, who is heir to the throne, with his wife, Crown Princess Mary. Unlike their cousins, Prince Christian, 16, Princess Isabella, 15, and 11-year-old twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine will both continue to be part of the royal house.
Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Prince Vincent, Crown Prince Frederik, Princess Isabella, Queen Margrethe, Prince Christian, Princess Josephine and Crown Princess Mary
The Danish palace noted that Wednesday's announcement "is in line with similar adjustments that other royal houses have made in various ways in recent years."
Similarly, Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf announced in October 2019 that the children of Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill as well as Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia would no longer be official members of the royal house. While they did retain their titles of prince or princess, the titles became personal, meaning any future spouses and children will not have a right to them.
Steffi Loos/Getty Queen Margrethe II
Princess Madeleine responded to the news on Instagram, writing: "Earlier today, the court announced that Leonore, Nicolas and Adrienne will no longer belong to the royal house. This change has been planned for a long time. Chris and I think it's good that our children are now getting a greater opportunity to shape their own lives as private individuals in the future."
Prince Carl Philip also shared his thoughts on Instagram, writing: "Today, the King announced the decision that our children no longer hold the Royal Highness position. We see this as positive as Alexander and Gabriel will have freer choices in life." (Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia later welcomed a third son, Prince Julian.)