On Sunday, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II celebrated her 83rd birthday with her first public appearance since she underwent back surgery in February. She greeted a crowd of well-wishers from the balcony at the Christian IX Palace in Amalienborg, flanked by both of her sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim. It was a show of unity after a few months of apparent discord, kicked off by Margrethe’s decision to strip Jochim’s children of their HRH designations, effectively demoting them from princes to counts.
The event marked the first time the queen commemorated her birthday from the balcony since 2019, as the coronavirus pandemic led her to celebrate privately in 2020, 2021, and 2022. The celebrations began with a changing of the guard outside of the palace. Along with his wife, Princess Marie, Joachim was joined by his children, who have been known as Count Nikolai, Count Felix, Count Henrik, and Countess Athena since January. Frederik, next in line to the throne, was joined by his wife Crown Princess Mary, and their four children, Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Princess Josephine, and Prince Vincent.
In a press release, the Kongehuset announced that Queen Margrethe would also return to her role as regent after her surgery and rehabilitation meant that Frederik had taken over the role. Though she was discharged from the hospital in early March, her rehabilitation process was expected to take months.
In September 2022, Margrethe announced her decision to strip Joachim’s children of their HRH designations in a press release, and Joachim told news outlet DR.dk that they only had five days’ notice before the decision was shared publicly. Days later, Margrethe issued a public apology for changing the children’s titles, and in her New Year’s address, she noted that the decision had led to discord in the family.
“That the relationship with Prince Joachim and Princess Marie has run into difficulties makes me sad,” Margrethe said in the address. “We have now had a quieter period and time for reflection, and I am sure that our family can embark on the new year together with confidence, understanding, and new courage.”
This year, the family spent the Christmas holiday apart, but Joachim did join his family for their traditional New Year’s dinner. In March, Joachim announced his plans to move to the United States with Marie and his two youngest children to take a job as a defense industry attaché at the Danish embassy in Washington, DC. The family will move over the summer.
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