Queen Margrethe of Denmark Poses With Entire Family After Stripping Royal Titles From Grandchildren

The queen made the decision to take away four of her grandchildren's royal titles.

Queen Margrethe II's family came together and put on a united front for a special occasion. On Sunday, the monarch was joined by her entire family on the balcony of Amalienborg Palace in honor of her 83rd birthday.

For the occasion, Margrethe -- who is Europe's sole ruling queen -- was joined by her heir, Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, his wife, Crown Princess Mary, their children, Prince Christian, 17, Princess Isabella, 15, and 12-year-old twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine. 

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Also on hand was the queen's younger son, Prince Joachim of Denmark -- whose children all lost their prince/princess titles -- his wife, Princess Marie of Denmark, and their children, Countess Athena of Mopezat, 11, Henrick, Count of Mopezat, 13.

Joachim's two oldest children, Count Nikolai of Mopezat, 23, and Count Felix of Mopezat, 20, whom he shares with ex-wife, Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, were also on the balcony for the celebration.

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Margrethe gave her family an equal moment to shine as she was photographed standing next to some of her grandchildren and at other times, by her sons. Each son had a photo op with their children and wives.

The queen's appearance on Sunday followed her grand return to the spotlight on Thursday, after spending two months recovering from an extensive back operation. The queen dazzled royal watchers as she made an appearance outside of her home, assisted by a walking stick. 

The royal family's unified photo op comes four months after Joachim's children were stripped of their royal titles, a move that shocked both him and royal watchers. In September 2022, Queen Margrethe II announced that four of her grandchildren's royal titles would change, and that they, as well as their descendants, would have the Count and Countess of Monpezat titles going forward.

"In April 2008, Her Majesty The Queen bestowed upon her sons, their spouses and their descendants the titles of count and countess of Monpezat. 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," the statement read. "As a natural extension of this, Her Majesty has decided that, as of 1 January 2023, His Royal Highness Prince Joachim’s descendants can only use their titles as counts and countess of Monpezat, as the titles of prince and princess that they have held up until now will be discontinued. Prince Joachim’s descendants will thus have to be addressed as excellencies in the future."

The statement noted that the decision by the monarch was made to simply fall in line with similar adjustments made by other royal houses.  

"The queen’s decision is in line with similar adjustments that other royal houses have made in various ways in recent years," the statement read. "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. All four grandchildren maintain their places in the order of succession."

Following the news, Joachim -- who is relocating to Washington, D.C. in the fall -- reacted to his mother's decision in a statement to Ekstra Bladet, a Danish publication.

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

In January, the decision was made final and the grandchildren's titles were officially changed on the family's website

While Queen Margrethe has begun to step out around her home, she will miss her distant cousin, King Charles III's, coronation on May 6, as she is still recovering. Instead, the Danish royal house confirmed that Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary will attend in her place.