Prince Joachim of Denmark has his sights set on America.
On Friday, the palace announced that the second son of Queen Margrethe and his wife, Princess Marie, are moving to Washington, D.C., this summer. The 53-year-old will start a new job at the Danish Embassy under the Ministry of Defense on Sept. 1.
It is believed that the couple’s two children, 13-year-old son Henrik and 11-year-old daughter Athena, will join their parents for the big move. Joachim is also a father to sons Nikolai, 23, and Felix, 20, from his previous marriage to Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg.
The union lasted from 1995 until 2005. He remarried in 2008 to Marie.
The palace announcement noted that Joachim and his wife, 47, moved to France four years ago.
“The reason was that Prince Joachim initiated France’s highest-ranking military training course as a supplement to the Prince’s long-term commitment to the Defense,” the statement read. “After completing their education, both the Prince and Princess were associated with the Danish Embassy in Paris as the Defence Attaché and Special Cultural Representative, respectively.”
The move is significant as the queen announced last year that she was stripping Joachim’s four children of their prince and princess titles. In early 2023, they became known as His/Her Excellency Count of Monpezat instead of His/Her Highness.
Following the announcement, the prince sat down with Danish outlet B.T. for a joint interview with the princess. Joachim alleged that he hasn’t talked to his mother, his brother Crown Prince Frederik or his sister-in-law Crown Princess Mary following the shocking news. He also claimed that the monarchy “unfortunately” had not connected with them since the announcement of the title changes.
“It’s also family. Or whatever we want to call it,” he said.
Joachim is sixth in line to the Danish throne. His children will maintain their places in the order of succession, which is currently seventh through 10th.
“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,” the palace previously said in the statement.
It is believed the change was made to streamline the monarchy’s future. However, Joachim argued that family should come first.
“The reality must still be: Whether you modernize or slim down, it must be done in a proper way,” he told the outlet. “It’s about children. Orderliness and children. It is a very heavy matter.”
The queen, 82, apologized for upsetting members of her family with the decision. However, she refused to change her mind.
“It is my duty and my desire as queen to ensure that the monarchy always shapes itself in keeping with the times. Sometimes, this means that difficult decisions must be made, and it will always be difficult to find the right moment,” she said in a statement.
“This adjustment … I view as a necessary future-proofing of the monarchy,” Europe’s longest reigning monarch said. She has not altered her decision.
“I have made my decision as queen, mother and grandmother. But, as a mother and grandmother, I have underestimated the extent to which my younger son and his family feel affected. That makes a big impression, and for that I am sorry,” Margrethe said in the statement.
Joachim previously told the Ekstra Bladet daily in Paris where he lives and works, that they “are all very sad.”
“It’s never fun to see your children being mistreated like that. They… find themselves in a situation they do not understand,” he said.
When asked how the decision had affected his relationship with his mother, Joachim replied, “I don’t think I need to elaborate here.”
Joachim’s first wife said they were confused, saddened and in shock.
“The children feel ostracized. They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away from them,” Alexandra said.
Joachim also alleged he received a five-day warning of the change. He said he was originally presented with a plan last May that would have removed the children’s titles when they reached age 25.
Margrethe’s decision was in line with moves that other royal houses have made in various ways in recent years. In 2019, Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf announced that the children of his younger children, Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Philip, would lose their royal titles. His oldest daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, is heir to the throne, followed by her children. They will retain their titles.
As one royal family prepares to call America home, another gearing up to say goodbye. Earlier this month, the Swedish palace announced that Princess Madeleine of Sweden is heading back to her home country with her husband and three children. They have been living in Florida since 2018.
“HRH Princess Madeleine and Mr. Christopher O’Neill, together with their children, will move to Stockholm in August 2023,” read the statement, adding that they’ll relocate to Sweden “indefinitely.” The couple’s two eldest children, 9-year-old Princess Leonore and 7-year-old Prince Nicolas, will begin elementary school in Stockholm in the fall, while 4-year-old Princess Adrienne will start preschool.
But Joachim won’t be alone in the U.S. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have been living in Montecito, California since 2020 with their two children, 3-year-old son Prince Archie and 1-year-old daughter Princess Lilibet. Harry’s cousins, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, previously lived in New York City. It is also believed that his late mother, Princess Diana, was considering a move to California before her sudden death in 1997 at age 36.
The former Princess Mako of Japan, who gave up her royal status to marry her college boyfriend, moved to New York City with her beau in 2021. She reportedly works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.