The Danish Royal House has officially been downsized.
Denmark's Queen Margrethe II stripped the titles of four of her eight grandchildren. Now, Prince Joachim's kids—Nikolai, 23, and Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10—can no longer be addressed as princes and princesses, or his and her royal highness.
"With her decision," began a Sept. 28 statement from the Danish Royal House, "Her Majesty The Queen wishes to create 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."
As of January 2023, they will go by His Excellency Count of Monpezat or Her Excellency Countess of Monpezat. However, they have not lost their spots in line to the throne as they currently sit as seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth.
The statement continued, "The Queen's decision is in line with similar adjustments that other royal houses have made in various ways in recent years."
However, for now, the decision only impacts Joachim's children. (He shares Nikolai and Felix with ex Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg and Henrik and Athena with wife Princess Marie.)
Crown Prince Frederik's kids Prince Christian, 16, Princess Isabella, 15, and 11-year-old twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, will maintain their titles. After all, their dad is heir to the throne.
Alas, the news doesn't still well with everyone. "We are all confused by the decision," Alexandra told the Danish newspaper B.T. "We are all confused by the decision. We are saddened and in shock. This comes like a bolt from the blue. The children feel ostracized. They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away from them."