Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark move to the US six months after their children are stripped of their royal titles in a story reminiscent of Megxit.
The 53-year-old royal, sixth in line to the Danish throne, will become defense industry attaché at the Embassy of Denmark in Washington DC.
Prince Joachim is the youngest son of Queen Margrethe II, who took the princely titles from his four children Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena last September.
His family’s move to the US has parallels with when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior royals in Britain in 2020 to start their new lives in North America.
Prince Joachim said: ‘I am proud to still have the opportunity to represent Denmark internationally in the field of security and defence. Transatlantic cooperation is a high priority area and I am honored that they have deemed me qualified for the task.”
Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark will move to Washington DC this summer
(From left) Felix, Princess Marie, Prince Joachim, Athena, Henrik and Nikolai last September
Last year, a rift arose between Prince Joachim and the Danish royal family when Queen Margrethe decided that his four children should lose their titles as prince and princess.
Denmark’s popular, long-serving monarch later apologized for upsetting members of her family with the decision – with Prince Joachim publicly expressing his frustration, but she has refused to change her mind.
The official reason was to help the children live more normal lives, and follows similar moves by other royal families in Europe, including the Windsors, to slim down their monarchies, the palace said.
But Countess Alexandra of Frederiksborg, Prince Joachim’s first wife and mother of his two older children, said at the time: ‘We are all confused by the decision.
“We are saddened and in shock. This comes like a bolt from the blue. The children feel left out.
“They can’t understand why their identity is being taken from them.”
And Prince Joachim himself added in an interview with the Danish news outlet Ekstra Bladet: ‘We are all very sad. It is never fun to see your children harmed. They’ve been put in a situation they don’t understand.’
Joachim and Marie pictured with their children Henrik and Athena in December 2022
Prince Joachim, Princess Marie and their children Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena in 2019
It was reported that Prince Joachim was first notified of the decision in May, but he said that was not the case – adding that he was informed just five days in advance.
Also at the time, a resurfaced interview revealed that Prince Joachim had admitted he was struggling to find his place in Denmark’s royal family – while his wife Princess Marie said she had ‘no choice’ but to leave Copenhagen for Paris in the midst of an ‘internal power struggle’.
The Queen’s four other grandchildren were born to 54-year-old Crown Prince Frederik, Joachim’s older brother.
These four retain their titles, but when they come of age, only the future king, Prince Christian, will receive an appanage, a decision made in 2016.
Prince Joachim will join the Danish embassy in Washington on September 1, where he will cover the US and Canada as an attaché.
He will be in the position for three years but has the option to extend it.
Prince Joachim has an extensive military background from 1987 in the Danish Armed Forces and elsewhere.
He completed his military education at the École Militaire in Paris in 2020.
Queen Margrethe II, pictured last October at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior royals in 2020, leaving the UK
The prince has held a similar position at the Danish embassy in Paris since 2020, but announced in November that he would leave that position this summer.
The Danish parliament will now have to give its blessing to the prince, who is not being paid by the embassy, to receive his royal appanage or alimony abroad.
Queen Margrethe, 82, is Europe’s only reigning queen and the continent’s longest-serving monarch.
Last year she tested positive for Covid just days after attending Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London.