Royal correspondent on the Queen’s Christmas Eve: ‘It underlines how badly things are going’

“I don’t blame either Prince Joachim or the Crown Prince Couple – it’s just a sad situation,” says BT’s royal correspondent Jacob Heinel Jensen after the news that Queen Margrethe will celebrate Christmas this year without any of her children or grandchildren by her side.

“It is a very good picture of what the Royal House has been through. A year of absolute and total division, and now Christmas will also be an example. None of them celebrate Christmas together, and the Queen is now allowed to sit with Princess Benedikte, while her children are scattered all over the globe.’

The reaction comes after the Royal House was able to announce on Wednesday that the Queen will spend Christmas with her sister and private friends on Djursland, while the Crown Prince Couple travels to Australia to celebrate the holiday with the Crown Princess’s family.

“Prince Joachim and Princess Marie, together with their children, will go on a long-planned trip abroad over Christmas,” the Royal House said.

Prince Joachim and Princess Marie will spend Christmas with their four children in total. Here they are seen in a picture from 2020.
Photo: The Royal House

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Countess Alexandra’s private secretary, Helle von Wildenrath Løvgreen, informs BT that Prince Joachim’s two eldest children from his first marriage, Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, will also be on the trip.

And precisely the two sons and their younger half-siblings, Princess Athena and Prince Henrik, are the focal point of the split, which Jacob Heinel Jensen calls ‘the biggest Danish royal crisis in recent times’.

In September, Queen Margrethe made the highly sensational announcement that Prince Joachim’s four children will lose their royal titles from the turn of the year. From now on, they will not be princes and princesses, but rather counts and countesses.

The decision was not made in consultation with the children’s father, he told BT, adding that he had not spoken to the Queen since the notification – which he had not received personally, but from the court marshal – and that the relationship with the Crown Prince couple was also ‘complicated’ ‘.

This year, Queen Margrethe will spend Christmas with her sister, Princess Benedikte, as well as private friends.

This year, Queen Margrethe will spend Christmas with her sister, Princess Benedikte, as well as private friends.
Photo: Axel Schütt

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A few weeks later, Prince Joachim took a quick trip to Denmark to talk to his mother. And when she held a government anniversary earlier this month, he and Princess Marie were invited.

However, the fact that they have spoken together does not mean that they speak well together, points out Jacob Heinel Jensen,

“And the fact that you are not able to gather Prince Joachim, Princess Marie and the Queen at Christmas also shows what the relationship is like. I can’t help but interpret that,’ he says.

“Having said that, it would also look strange if they were to spend Christmas together when they couldn’t even talk on the phone together during the Royal House’s biggest crisis. So in that way, I wouldn’t say the announcement is surprising. It just underlines how bad the conditions are internally in the royal family, and I actually think it’s a bit sad that the 82-year-old queen won’t be spending Christmas with some of her children.’

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