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America has solidified its reputation as the country of choice for pissed-off, escapee European royalty.
The Sussexes of Montecito will soon be joined by, well let’s call them the Danes of D.C., after Prince Joachim of Denmark announced that he, his wife Princess Marie and their children will move to the American political capital this summer, months after his mother, Queen Margrethe II, stripped his four children of their prince and princess titles.
Joachim, who is sixth in line to the Danish throne, complained that his family had been “mistreated” in the decision-making, which ended up with his kids—Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, and Athena, 11—being known variously as “his excellency count of Monpezat” and “her excellency countess of Monpezat.”
A message on the Danish royal family’s website details that Prince Joachim will begin a new role as defense industry attaché at the Danish Embassy in D.C., focusing on maintaining defense industry links between Denmark, the U.S. and Canada. The move, the message reads, follows the family moving to Paris four years ago, so the prince could undertake France’s highest-ranking military education course, with he and his wife subsequently taking on roles at the Danish embassy in Paris.
Although Danish royal disunity has been on visible display during the drama, it hasn’t yet reached the very public, operatically dysfunctional heights—or depths—of Harry, Meghan, and the British royals.
Last year, People reported that Joachim he had been initially told the children would be stripped of their titles when they reached 25, and spoke of his “hurt” at Margrethe’s decision, which was taken, she said, to “future-proof” the monarchy.
Denmark’s Prince Felix, Princess Marie, Prince Joachim, Princess Athena, Prince Henrik and Prince Nikolai arrive to luncheon on the Royal Yacht Dannebrog in Copenhagen, Denmark September 11, 2022.
Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
Joachim said such changes should be done “in a decent way.” He told one outlet, “To tell my children that on New Year’s their identity will be taken from them. I am very, very sorry to see them uncomprehending about what is happening over their heads… I can say that my children are upset. My kids don’t know which leg to stand on. What they should believe. Why should their identity be removed? Why must they be punished in that way?”
His wife Marie said there was “nothing modern about hurting children’s feelings.”
“We are, as my parents have also stated, in shock at this decision and at how quickly it has actually gone,” Prince Nikolai told Ekstra Bladet. “I am very confused as to why it has to happen like this.”
At the time a palace statement read that Queen Margrethe wanted 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.” Margrethe told reporters she thought the decision would “be good” for the children “in the future.”
Margrethe, now Europe’s longest-serving monarch, later said she was “sorry” for “underestimating how much my youngest son and his family feel affected.”