The Danish monarch stepped out on Sunday evening accompanied by her firstborn and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Frederik, his wife Crown Princess Mary and their two younger children – 11-year-old twins Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent. The royals headed to Tivoli’s Concert Hall in Copenhagen for the premiere of The Nutcracker.
For the dazzling event, 82-year-old Queen Margrethe wore a midi-length red satin skirt and a black top underneath a fur coat. She completed her look with black shoes and make-up accentuating her lips with bold red lipstick.
Princess Mary looked typically stylish in a grey ensemble topped with a long light blue overcoat.
Her husband donned a blue suit with a white buttoned-up shirt and red tie with white polka dots, while the children looked the part wearing formal outfits.
Margrethe is not just Denmark’s head of state but also a skilled scenographer who has designed costumes and sets for the Tivoli Ballet Theatre and the Royal Danish Ballet.
Last year, it was announced the monarch had been employed to design the sets and costumes for a Netflix adaptation of Ehrengard from a novel by Danish author Karen Blixen.
Margrethe and Frederik’s family were joined by another royal – Norway’s Queen Sonja, who made her way into the theatre in a black shawl over a black maxi skirt.
On the other hand, neither Margrethe’s second child Prince Joachim nor his four children were in attendance.
This royal appearance comes in the midst of a difficult for the Danish Royal Family, whose solidity was tested by a row sparked in late September by the monarch’s decision to strip Prince Joachim’s four children of their royal titles.
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In a bid to streamline the Royal Family and “future proof” the monarchy, Margrethe decided Prince Nikolai, 23, and Prince Felix, 20 – the sons of Joachim and his first wife Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg – as well as Prince Henrik, 13, and Princess Athena, 10 – born from the Prince’s second marriage with Princess Marie – would no longer be known as Princes or Princess and would lose their His/Her Royal Highnesses at the end of this year.
From January 1 2023, these young royals will bear the titles of Counts and Countess and be referred to as Their Excellencies.
The move, the Royal Court said in its first statement about the issue, aims at creating “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” and is “in line with similar adaptations” made by other royal houses.
In the days that followed this statement, Prince Joachim, Princess Marie, Countess Alexandra and Prince Nikolai all expressed the shock and sadness the Queen’s decision had provoked in them.
Prince Nikolai, who made a name for himself as a fashion model, told Danish publication Ekstra Bladet: “My whole family and I are of course very sad. We are, as my parents have also stated, in shock at this decision and at how quickly it has actually gone. I am very confused as to why it has to happen like this.”
Elsewhere, Marie also claimed to BT her daughter Athena was being mocked at school as a consequence of the decision, saying: “They come and say (to Athena): ‘Is it you who is no longer a princess?'”
On the other hand, Princess Mary – whose firstborn son Prince Christian will one day be King of Denmark – acknowledged change can be “extremely difficult and can really hurt” but added it “does not mean that the decision is not the right one”.
She also suggested in the future some of her younger children may also lose their titles, depending on the needs of the Crown.
The palpable tensions that emerged in the days that followed the Royal Court’s first announcement started to dissipate after Margrethe issued a statement in which she defended her move but also said to be sorry to have “underestimated how much my youngest son and his family feel affected” by her decision.
In early October, Prince Joachim held a private meeting with Margrethe II, after which a representative of the Royal House said mother and son wanted “calm to find their way through this situation”.
In mid-November, Joachim and Marie joined Mary and Frederik for a reception at Copenhagen City Hall celebrating the Queen’s 50th year on the throne, a sign suggesting the ice between the royals was starting to thaw.