How King Charles differs from Queen Margarethe
The Queen who could have scuppered Archie and Lili’s titles: King Charles cousin Margrethe of Denmark stripped her grandchildren of their Prince and Princess status – so, will he regret not following her example?
- King opted to grant titles – in a move which differs from his Danish counterpart
- Read more: Richard Eden comments on Harry and Meghan’s ‘revenge’ on royals
The King may have opted to grant his youngest son’s children use of their titles – but the move comes in sharp contrast to another European monarch’s decisions in recent months.
It is understood Charles told Prince Harry that his children would be allowed to be called Prince and Princess in a ‘private conversation’ after the Queen’s funeral in September last year.
At the time, Queen Margrethe of Denmark announced she was stripping her grandchildren of their titles as Prince and Princess – leading to a huge public row which played out across the world.
It was a tumultuous year for the Danish Royal Family after she removed Prince and Princess titles from her youngest son Prince Joachim’s children Athena, 11, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, Nikolai, 23.
The Daily Mail’s Richard Eden said he questioned whether Prince Harry had ‘bumped’ King Charles into the decision, saying: ‘I do wonder, if Queen Elizabeth was still alive, whether she would have been more likely to do as her Danish counterpart did and issue Letters Patent stripping Prince Harry’s children of their titles.
‘It seems that King Charles has allowed Prince Harry and Meghan to bump him into allowing them to use their children’s titles. Once, they started calling Lilibet a princess publicly, it put the King in a difficult position.’
The King may have opted to grant his youngest son’s children use of their titles – but the move comes in sharp contrast to another European monarch’s decisions in recent months (pictured, Prince Harry with Meghan Markle, Archie and Lilibet)
The monarch’s decision comes in sharp contrast to the choices made by his distant cousin, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, last year, who stripped her grandchildren of their titles as Prince and Princess (pictured, Margrethe removed Prince and Princess titles from her youngest son Prince Joachim’s children Athena, 11, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, Nikolai, 23)
He had tweeted to contrast the two decisions online, writing: ‘Time will tell whether #KingCharles would have been better off following the example of Queen Margrethe of Denmark.’
Following the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Margrethe – who was a distant cousin of the Queen – became the only living female monarch in the world.
And in September, the Danish monarch announced that her grandchildren would no longer have ‘His/Her Highness’ titles from January 2023.
At the time, the monarch insisted the move will be ‘good for them in their future’ and allow the children – who have maintained their positions in the line of succession – to ‘shape their own lives without being limited by the special considerations and duties’ that a formal affiliation with the Danish Royal Family involves.
The decision sparked an enormous public row in Denmark between members of the royal family.
Prince Joachim publicly spoke out against his mother’s decision in the days that followed – claiming that his children had been ‘harmed’ in the process.
Following the Queen’s announcement, Joachim spoke to Danish publication Ekstra Bladet outside the Danish Embassy in Paris, where he lives with his French-born wife Princess Marie and his two youngest children.
‘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. Now I had only five days to tell them. Athena turns 11 in January,’ he clarified.
Meanwhile, his ex-wife Alexandra said that her sons, Nikolai and Felix, had been left feeling ‘ostracised’ from the institution and the decision had come like a ‘bolt out of the blue’.
The Royal Household released a further statement, saying: ‘As the Queen stated yesterday, the decision has been a long time coming.
It is understood Charles told Prince Harry that his children would be allowed to be called Prince and Princess in a ‘private conversation’ after the Queen’s funeral last year
‘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.’
Two months later, the sixth-in-line to the throne admitted that ‘communication was missing’ within the Royal Family in the lead-up to the shock announcement.
He told local news outlet B.T.: ‘There is a lot to work on. Communication was what was missing. Now we have met and we are on the right track.’
In February, Queen Margrethe revealed she thought that it was better for her to take action than then leave the burden to Crown Prince Frederik as the future King.
In an interview with Danish publication Ekstra Bladet she said: ‘It’s been important to me that this should never be Frederik’s lot to make that kind of decision.
‘It’s better that I did. Because then it’s the old lady that made the decision. I am not keen to get into it to be honest.
‘I could mention some things, but you shouldn’t have to tell everything. But it is still a little bit too private to talk about.’
In January, the Danish Royal Family updated their website to show the new status of Prince Joachim’s children.
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark pictured attending the annual New Year’s dinner earlier this year
Speaking in a televised New Year’s address, Margrethe admitted: ‘That the relationship with Prince Joachim and (his wife) Princess Marie has run into difficulties hurts me.
‘Difficulties and disagreements can arise in any family, including mine. The whole country has witnessed this.’
She added that she was ‘sure that the family can enter the new year together with confidence, understanding and new courage’.
It’s possible King Charles was keeping an eye on the debate as his mother, the Queen, died amidst the very public fall-out.
And it appears he was keen to avoid such public debate – instead, it has emerged he quietly spoke to Harry about the titles in the period after the Queen’s death.
Harry and Meghan’s 21-month-old daughter Lilibet saw her royal title of ‘Princess’ used formally for the first time yesterday, giving the first indication that the Sussexes will use the titles for their children.
In January, Denmark’s Royal Family updated their website to show the new status belonging to four of Queen Margrethe’s grandchildren after they were stripped of their HRH titles. Pictured, Count Nikolai, left, and right, Count Felix
The 82-year-old monarch announced in September 2022 that the four children of her youngest son, 53-year-old Prince Joachim, would no longer be able to use the title of prince and princess after January 1. Pictured, Countess Athena, left, and right, Count Henrik
The move is seen as an olive branch after reports the couple has been ‘obsessed’ with the idea that the King might bar the children from being prince or princess. Royal sources said Charles would never have ‘punished’ his grandchildren like that.
It is understood that despite the Sussexes’ repeated attacks on the institution of the monarchy and members of the Royal Family, there has been correspondence on the issue between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and royal aides.
Harry and Meghan’s children became a prince and princess when the King acceded to the throne, but have remained a plain ‘master’ and ‘miss’ on the Buckingham Palace website for the past six months. Early today, that remained the case.
Lili was described as ‘Princess Lilibet Diana’ in a statement from a spokesman for the couple this week that confirmed she was christened last in a private ceremony at the Sussexes’ home in Montecito, California, on March 3.
A source told the Mirror: ‘The appropriate conversations took place ahead of Lilibet’s christening.’
Instead of following in his cousin Queen Margarethe’s footsteps, Charles has opted to grant Prince Harry’s children use of their titles (pictured, Prince Harry with King Charles and Prince Archie)
Lili was described as ‘Princess Lilibet Diana’ in a statement from a spokesman for the couple this week that confirmed she was christened last in a private ceremony at the Sussexes’ home in Montecito, California, on March 3
While it is understood the title will be used in formal settings, it will not be in everyday conversational use by the couple.
So she will likely still be known as ‘Lilibet’ in most scenarios.
Lilibet, known as ‘Lili’ for short, was named as ‘Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor’ on her birth certificate in California.
Harry and Meghan are understood to be keen to not deny their children their birthright but will allow them the chance to decide for themselves when they are older whether they want to drop or keep using the titles.
It will be up to Lilibet whether she wants to describe herself as a princess.
Harry and Meghan’s children Archie and Lilibet became prince and princess respectively when King Charles acceded to the throne last September.
However it is only now that the couple have chosen to use the title.
Rules set out by King George V in 1917 mean Archie and Lili, as the children of a son of a sovereign, are automatically a prince and a princess.
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