Prince Nikolai of Denmark is “shocked” over his grandmother Queen Margrethe II’s decision to strip four of her grandkids of their royal titles.
Nikolai, along with his brothers Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, and younger sister Athena, 10 will be referred to as either “His Excellency Count of Monpezat” or “Her Excellency Countess of Monpezat” starting on January 1, 2023.
The 23-year-old royal, who is the eldest son of Prince Joachim — sixth in line to the Danish throne, was notified of the bombshell news “a little over a week ago.”
“We are, as my parents have also stated, in shock at this decision and at how quickly it has actually gone,” Nikolai told Danish outlet Ekstra Bladet. “I am very confused as to why it has to happen like this.”
“As I said, we were shocked. But it is clear that it hits even harder now that it has been published.”
Queen Margrethe II, 82, said removing her grandchildren’s prince and princess titles will enable them to “shape their own lives” instead of “being limited.”
“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,” Queen Margrethe’s statement read.
Nikolai, who boasts a successful modeling career after walking the runway for fashion’s top brands such as Dior and Vogue, said the decision has left him “shocked and confused” as he and his siblings will now be known as counts and countesses.
“It’s never fun to see your children being mistreated like that,” Joachim told the outlet this week.
Meanwhile, Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg — the mother of Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix said she was “confused” by the news as well.
“We are saddened and in shock,” Prince Joachim’s ex-wife 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.”
No changes were made to the titles of Prince Frederik, the heir to the throne, as well as his wife, Princess Mary, and their children — Prince Christian, 16, Princess Isabella, 15, and 11-year-old twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.
Queen Margrethe II, 82, who is now the longest-reigning monarch following Queen Elizabeth II’s death, defended her decision telling reporters, “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,” according to Hello! Magazine.
Queen Margrethe’s decision echoes the drama that’s recently unfolded within the British royal family, which has endured a series of back-to-back scandals over the years.