Danish prince and princess start at ‘normal’ schools

Prince Christian, second in line to the Danish throne, and Princess Isabella began on Monday attending what a commentator described as ‘normal’ schools after their parents, the Crown Prince couple, withdrew them from a controversial boarding school.

Danish prince and princess start at 'normal' schools
Denmark's Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent at the Royal Run event in June. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

After a TV2 documentary earlier this year revealed a culture of bullying at elite boarding school Herlufsholm, the royal family pulled Prince Christian, 16, and Princess Isabella, 15, from their enrolments at the school.

At the start of the new term on Monday, Isabella begins at Ingrid Jespersens Gymnasium in Østerbro and Christian will attend Ordrup Gymnasium in Charlottenlund, about 20 minutes’ drive north of Copenhagen. 

“I would say these are good and sensible choices. What characterises the chosen schools is that they are quite normal. They are schools close to the surrounding society,” Thomas Larsen, political editor at Radio4 and author of books on the Danish royals, told news wire Ritzau.

“It is not a boarding school that is largely reserved for the children of the elite. And therefore I believe that the choices they have made now will be well received by the Danes,” he said.

Larsen said that the current social climate means that the royal family would not want to be seen as distancing itself too much from the Danish population, making the decision to switch from the elite Herlufsholm school to their new schools a logical one.

In June, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary said on Monday they were yet to make a final decision over whether to let their children continue at controversial boarding school Herlufsholm.

At the time, the Danish royals said they would await the results of an independent investigation, initiated by the Herlufsholm management, into conditions at the school before making a decision on their children’s future enrolment.

Before reaching upper secondary school (gymnasium) age, both Prince Christian and Princess Isabella attended a regular state folkeskole.

The four children of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary were also enrolled at the Lemania-Verbier international school in Switzerland in 2020, but left early die to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Denmark’s Prince Joachim says children ‘harmed’ by loss of titles

Prince Joachim, the second son of Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, has criticised a decision by the palace to strip his four children of the title of prince and princess.

Denmark’s Prince Joachim says children ‘harmed’ by loss of titles

In a rare episode of public drama in the Danish royal family, Prince Joachim, the Queen’s second son, spoke to Danish media on Thursday to express his disappointment over the decision to remove the titles of ‘prince’ and ‘princess’ from his children as of next year.

Prince Joachim’s four children will no longer be princes or princesses but will retain their other titles as Count or Countess of Monpezat, the royal palace announced on Wednesday. The decision was taken by Queen Margrethe.

“We are all very sad about it. It’s never fun to see your children harmed in this way. They themselves are in a situation they don’t understand,” Prince Joachim told newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

In comments to the paper as well as in a second interview with another newspaper, BT, the prince said the decision to change the children’s titles had been moved forward.

“On May 5th I was presented with a plan. The whole idea was to take my children’s identity from them when they each reach 25 years of age,” he said.

“I was given five days’ warning when the decision was brought forward,” he said.

“I was given five days’ warning on this. To tell my children that their identity will be taken from them at New Year. I am very, very upset to see them sad and uncomprehending as to what is being decided about them,” he said to BT.

Asked how the decision has affected his relationship with his mother, the prince told Ekstra Bladet “I don’t think I need to elaborate on that here”.

Prince Joachim, the younger brother of the heir to the throne Crown Prince Frederik, has four children: Nikolai, age 23 and Felix, age 20, from his first marriage to Countess Alexandra; and Henrik (13) and Athena (10) with his current wife, Princess Marie.

READ ALSO: Danish palace removes prince and princess titles from Queen’s grandchildren

Prince Nikolai on Thursday also spoke to Ekstra Bladet, saying that “all of my family and I are naturally very upset.”

“We are, as my parents also have said, in shock about this decision and about how quickly it was actually made,” he said.

The palace on Thursday recognised that “many feelings” had been affected by the announcement.

“We understand that there are many feelings on the line at the moment but we hope that the Queen’s wish to secure the future of the royal family will be respected,” the palace’s head of communications, Lene Balleby, told news wire Ritzau.

Queen Margrethe on Wednesday said she had thought over the decision “for a rather long time” and that she believed it “would be good” for the royal grandchildren, Ritzau reported.