Tension is said to be running high in the Danish royal family after Prince Joachim claimed his children were given just five days’ notice that they would lose their royal titles following a decision made by their grandmother Queen Margrethe.

“I was given five days’ notice to tell them. In May, I was presented with a plan which, by and large, was that when the children each turned 25, it would happen,” Prince Joachim said.

“Now I had only five days to tell them. Athena turns 11 in January.”

In a bombshell announcement, the Danish Royal Household confirmed that Prince Joachim’s children would no longer be using the title of Prince or Princess of Denmark.

Instead, they would be restricted to using the titles of Count, Countess or Comtesse of Monpezat from the start of next year.

“In April 2008, Her Majesty the Queen conferred the titles of Count, Countess and Comtesse of Monpezat on her sons, their spouses and their descendants,” the statement, released yesterday, read.

“In May 2016, it was also announced that His Royal Highness Prince Christian, as the only one of the Queen’s grandchildren, is expected to receive an annuity from the state as an adult.

“As a natural extension of this, Her Majesty has decided that with effect from 1 January 2023, the descendants of His Royal Highness Prince Joachim can only use their titles as Count and Countess of Monpezat, as their previous titles as Prince and Princess of Denmark will lapse.

“Prince Joachim’s descendants will henceforth have to be addressed as Excellencies.”

It was confirmed that Prince Joachim’s children would still maintain their places in the order of succession, but would be able to live their lives “without being limited by the special considerations and duties that a formal affiliation with the Royal House of Denmark as an institution involves”.

The statement also hinted that the decision was designed to streamline the monarchy, which follows similar sentiments shared by King Charles II and other European royal households.

However, Prince Joachim, the youngest of Margrethe’s two sons, claimed his children were “harmed” by the news and that he was given little notice.

“We are all very sad. It’s never fun to see your children being harmed. They are been put in a situation they do not understand,” he told Danish news outlet Ekstra Bladet.

The 53-year-old royal, who is sixth in line to the throne, shares his two eldest sons Nikolai, 23, and Felix, 20, with his first wife Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksberg, and 13-year-old Henrik and 10-year-old Athena with his current wife, Princess Marie.

Alexandra said the news was like a “bolt out of the blue” and that her two sons felt “ostracised” by their family.

“They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away from them,” she told Danish magazine Se og Hør.

A spokesperson for the Countess told another news outlet that Prince Joachim only learnt of his children’s fate from an aide, with claims that Queen Margrethe didn’t speak to her son or grandchildren about the change.

Queen Margrethe, who is celebrating her Golden Jubilee this year, defended the decision at an event in Copenhagen.

“It is a consideration I have had for quite a long time and I think it will be good for them in their future. That is the reason,” she said.

In another statement, the Royal Household supported the Queen’s claims that it had been a long time coming while conceding that there are “many emotions at stake”.

“As the Queen stated yesterday, the decision has been a long time coming,” it read.

“We understand that there are many emotions at stake at the moment, but we hope that the Queen’s wish to future-proof the Royal Household will be respected.”

Since the announcement, there have been reports of an “ice-cold air” between the Queen and her grandchildren.

“There is ice-cold air between Queen Margrethe and her grandchildren after she decided that they will lose their titles as prince and princess from the New Year,” Ekstra Bladet reported.

“The news, which has crushed both the four children and their parents, was not delivered by the queen herself.

“They have not been called to Amalienborg for a cold coke and an explanation as to why they must henceforth be addressed as counts and countesses. Not even that far.”

Image: @detdanskekongehus (Instagram)

This article first appeared on OverSixty.