If there was even a remote chance that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were going to join the rest of the royal family for Christmas at Sandringham—that’s probably not going to happen this year, unfortunately. (We can sum it all up in one word: Endgame. IYKYK.) But there is hope to be found in the example of another European royal family who have had issues as of late, who are all reuniting at Christmas even though one branch of the family tree has relocated to the U.S.
Here's the thing about royal families around the world: sure, the British are interesting, but so are so many others. Including the royal family of Denmark, helmed by Queen Margrethe, who has been on the throne for over 50 years and, after the death of Queen Elizabeth, is now the only reigning queen regnant in the entire world. (Don’t worry, that’ll change eventually—many heirs to the throne are women, including from Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium, for starters. #girlpower #absoluteprimogeniture) Anyway, Queen Margrethe has two sons—heir to the throne Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim. The family ruptured in two (seriously, the British aren’t the only ones with drama) after the Queen stripped Joachim’s four children of their titles, apparently unexpectedly, in 2022. Joachim—who is sixth in line to the throne—very openly criticized his mother’s decision at the time, and summarily relocated his family to the U.S., Washington, D.C., specifically, where Joachim started his new job at the Danish embassy in September.
“Her argument was that she intended to allow his children to enjoy normal lives, free of royal obligations,” Tatler reports. “Nevertheless, the furor erupted in public, the monarch issued an apology, and admitted she had underestimated the impact of her actions—though she said it had been ‘a long time coming.’” Though she did apologize, the Queen did not change her mind, and the decision remained.
Now, the good news—it seems that both Frederik and Joachim and their children will join their mother (whose husband, Prince Henrik, died in 2018) at Marselisborg Palace, the customary place where Danish royals spend Christmas (think of it as the Sandringham equivalent). The Queen is headed to Marselisborg on December 20 and will be joined by her entire family, save for Joachim’s son Felix, who will join the family on Christmas Day, and his brother, Nikolai, who will spend the holiday abroad as he is currently studying at the University of Technology in Sydney. (Both Nikolai and Felix are models, by the way.)
It's a poignant display of unity between brothers Frederik and Joachim after Frederick was embroiled in a Rose Hanbury-like scandal of his own recently, when a night the Crown Prince spent in Madrid with Mexican socialite Genoveva Casanova (not making this up) raised eyebrows. “The pair were pictured strolling in Barrio el Jerónimos after visiting a Picasso exhibition earlier in the day,” Tatler reports. “They then headed for dinner and attended a Flamenco performance.” While Frederik, as is custom for most royals, has not addressed the rumors, Casanova vehemently denied speculation of wrongdoing. (Frederik has been married to Crown Princess Mary since 2004, and they have four children. Frederick, by the way, is a fourth cousin of King Charles.)
“The family seem to have found a way to work through the issues and will enjoy each other’s company again this Christmas,” Tatler reports. The outlet noted that temperatures at Marselisborg Palace hover around 3 degrees at Christmastime; hopefully, just hopefully, the royal family of Denmark will be kept warm inside through renewed familial bonds. And with that cheesiness out of the way, we bid adieu, and hope for similar reconciliation with another set of brothers who are European royals by birth.
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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