Historian after sensational DR programme: ‘Des’ can die with the Queen

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Your Royal Highness. ‘December’. And never ‘dus’.

Although the Danes stopped being Des with each other over 50 years ago, they still use the form of address to the members of the Royal Household. But historians believe that it will soon be over.

Prince Joachim visited the other day The evening show on DR, and here the prince showered with the hosts in the studio. And it can spread to the rest of the Royal House, says historian Lars Hovbakke Sørensen.

“You can easily imagine that. When you look at it historically, it was common among ordinary people in the 1970s to say ‘De’ to people you didn’t know,” he says and elaborates.

Lars Hovbakke Sørensen believes that it can help to change Prince Joachim’s image, that you can now be showered with the prince on TV.
Photo: Claus Fisker

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“It slipped away in the 1970s and 1980s, and then only the royals were called ‘De’. A development has taken place. We are becoming more and more informal towards each other, and the Royal House must also reflect that to a certain extent. So that they don’t get completely out of step with society.’

He explains that the Royal House must be a little behind. But not too much.

“That’s why you can easily imagine that it will disappear completely during the next generation,” he says.

You shouldn’t expect that you can suddenly fall in love with the Queen. Traditionally, the Queen and Prince Joachim have been the ones who have stuck to the form of address, while Crown Prince Frederik has been more indifferent to it.

“Queen Margrethe will continue to do so, but when Crown Prince Frederik becomes king, it will probably become more common to say ‘you’ to him,” says Hovbakke Sørensen.


The Crown Prince has never been so keen on the formal form of indictment.

The Crown Prince has never been so keen on the formal form of indictment.
Photo: Bax Lindhardt

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So Des dies with the Queen?

“You could easily imagine that,” he says.

Hovbakke Sørensen also explains that it is very new that you can shower with Prince Joachim. It is something that has come within the very recent times.

“He has adopted a more informal style in recent years, and there he has found it natural that you have to say hello to him. Something has really happened. It is connected with the gradually more relaxing style that the Royal House is adopting. Where to become more informal. It fits well with the spirit of the times,’ he says.

It is also quite new that the members of the Royal Family are allowed to take part in live entertainment programs at all.


Prince Joachim and Princess Marie moved to France in 2019. Here they are at the town hall in Paris.

Prince Joachim and Princess Marie moved to France in 2019. Here they are at the town hall in Paris.
Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard

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“When he chooses to go into a live TV broadcast, there is also an expectation in the population that you must say ‘you’. Otherwise, there would be a clash between him taking part in a live TV show at all and if he still insisted on saying ‘You’. Things have to fit together,’ he says.

Hovbakke Sørensen calls it ‘a part of the modernization of the Royal Palace’.

He also believes that it is a really good idea that it is precisely Prince Joachim who takes the showdown.

“It is something he has been criticized for. Some have perceived him as arrogant, and it is definitely one of the things that can change his image, that he becomes more informal in general. Also that he stands up for something like this at all,” says Hovbakke Sørensen.


Defense Attache, Brigadier General Prince Joachim signs, on behalf of the Royal Danish Embassy in Paris, a declaration of cooperation between the French Embassy and DI Defense and Security, in DI, Industriens Hus at Rådhuspladsen, Thursday 31 March 2022. In addition to Prince Joachim, Director Joachim Finkielman, DI Defense and Security, participate in the briefing.

Defense Attache, Brigadier General Prince Joachim signs, on behalf of the Royal Danish Embassy in Paris, a declaration of cooperation between the French Embassy and DI Defense and Security, in DI, Industriens Hus at Rådhuspladsen, Thursday 31 March 2022. In addition to Prince Joachim, Director Joachim Finkielman, DI Defense and Security, participate in the briefing.
Photo: Liselotte Sabroe

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