Why King Frederik’s brother, Joachim does not support his reign

With a new life in the US, Prince Joachim has little reason to support the monarch

King Frederik is looking towards a new era as the ruler of Denmark, but his sudden rise to the throne has only fuelled the growing tension with his younger brother, Prince Joachim.

Joachim and his wife Princess Marie were at a party with friends in Copenhagen when his mother Queen Margrethe made her shock abdication announcement live on TV – a move not many knew about.

The news came a year after Margrethe stripped the royal titles of their four children, and following this latest blindside, the prince was no longer in the mood to celebrate. A grumpy Joachim was seen leaving New Year’s Eve festivities in a rush and, despite his reputation for engaging the press, the 54-year-old refused to give any comment to waiting journalists.

“I think he is disappointed,” a palace source reveals. “At least that’s the impression you got after his reaction on New Year’s Eve. He could have said congratulations to his brother or something, but the rejection of a comment was striking.”

Just before Fred was crowned King Frederik X in Copenhagen on 14 January, insiders told Woman’s Day things were tense between Joachim and his sibling.

“Even though there’s every chance Fred could overturn their mother’s decision to oust his family from the royal roster, Joachim still blames him for not stopping her in the first place,” says a royal insider.

“He’s also completely unwilling to beg for scraps, so there’s enormous resistance from him to drop everything for his brother.”

Joachim didn’t congratulate his big brother as he abruptly left a New Year’s Eve party.

Rubbing salt into Joachim’s deep wounds is his confusion over 83-year-old Margrethe’s decision to hand over the crown so soon after taking away the titles from his children in order to streamline the monarchy – a move she deemed “necessary”.

“This decision has only deepened the hurt she caused when she showed them the door,” the source tells. “Now the monarchy is down to two – Fred and Mary – and four inexperienced kids.”

After all the hurt he’s been through, insiders say Joachim feels little incentive to support Fred, 55, and his new queen, 51, in their royal endeavours, and will likely turn his attention to bettering his family’s life in the US.

Joachim’s new post at the Danish embassy in Washington DC has allowed them to start over fresh and he’s determined to keep moving out of the shadow of his big brother.

“Joachim’s not uprooting his family again for the whim of the latest monarch,” says the source. “He’s furious about all of this and, behind closed doors, it’s making it difficult for Fred to bring him back as a much-needed advisor.”

Yet despite all the drama, Joachim has remained diplomatic in public and, according to our insider, the prince is playing it smart – and to his advantage – when it comes to maintaining his “complicated” relationship with his brother.

“It would be so easy to simply stay in Washington or even go back to France permanently, walking away from Fred and Mary for good. But Joachim knows Fred needs him on-side now more than ever, so he has this window of opportunity to play hard in negotiating any new roles.”

Marie: torn between two worlds

Mary has a strained friendship with Marie (right).

Princess Marie caused a stir when she revealed her family was forced to leave Denmark for France years ago, amid gossip that the town “wasn’t big enough” for both Fred and Joachim’s families. Now royal insiders say Marie, 47, is hoping to return to Denmark, but she’s torn over her husband Joachim’s strained relations with his family.

“She misses Denmark and is still convinced Margrethe made a mistake that Frederik will fix,” says a source. “But she also understands her husband’s pride and agrees they were treated dreadfully after years of the most impeccable loyalty to Margrethe.”

Thankfully for Marie, living so far away from Fred and Mary has also given her some much-needed space from her lookalike sister-in-law – and the constant comparisons between the two women and their families.

Their friendship is believed to have turned seriously frosty when Marie and Joachim moved to Paris in 2019, after it appeared the pair were reported to be “muscling in on Mary and Fred’s turf”.

“It was humiliating for her and Joachim to be discarded like they were,” a source says of them being pushed out of Denmark, adding that Margrethe’s shock decision has left Marie “rather envious” as it was completely unexpected and will allow Mary the opportunity to serve as queen while still in her prime.

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