A palace spokesperson says the royal family never expected support for non-heirs

By Caris Davis
Updated May 31, 2016 03:40 PM
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Credit: Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty

Attention Danish royals: Unless you’re in direct line to the throne, you’re about to be less rich.

Through a spokesperson, the royal family stated on Monday that they accepted that no one except direct heirs should be eligible for government financial support.

“It’s not expected, and it never has been, that anyone of his generation other than Prince Christian should receive payment,” palace communications director Lene Balleby told DR News.

Prince Christian is the 10-year-old second-in-line to the nation’s throne (after his father, Crown Prince Frederik).

And while it seems that the state is happy to pay his way once he’s old enough to undertake royal duties, future funding for Prince Christian s three younger siblings – and the four children of the crown prince’s younger brother Prince Joachim – appears less certain.

“Simple mathematics dictate that there needs to be some sort of limit. Otherwise within a few generations there will be several hundred princes and princesses who need an annual salary,” Jan E. Jorgensen, a spokesman for Denmark’s ruling party Venstre, told the Danish daily newspaper Politiken.

“Anyone can see that that won t fly,” he said.

Currently the government pays an annual subsidy of more than 100 million kroner ($15 million) to support Queen Margrethe, her two sons, their wives, an ex-wife and a total of eight grandchildren.

From 1849 to 1995 only heirs to the throne (and their spouses and widows) received financial support from the state. But those rules were changed two decades ago when Prince Joachim married (his now ex-wife) Alexandra to include allowances for his family too.

Next year’s looming 18th birthday of Prince Nicolai, Prince Joachim s eldest son, marks the moment at which he would qualify for apanage, or a government allowance, and has triggered a debate over Royal finances that may foreshadow bigger changes ahead.

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Lars Hovbakke Sorensen, a historian at University College Sj lland, said a rethink of the state s financial support of the royal family is overdue – particularly when Queen Margrethe is the only royal with any actual obligations or duties.

“The others need to define their missions. Until they do, you can t really be sure of what you’re getting for the money,” Sorensen told the Danish news agency Ritzau.

The Danish royal family expert acknowledged it was unusual for the royals to enter any political debate, even if it was about their own finances.

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“It was quite smart of the Royal House to come out and say this now,” he said, after opinion polls suggested a large majority of the public believed only Prince Christian should receive funding.

Danes are also solidly against the idea of continuing to give Joachim s ex-wife Countess Alexandra the 2.3 million kroner ($345,000) she receuves annually from the state, despite not having been an official member of the royal family since 2005, according to polls.

Acknowledging the changing landscape, Denmark’s R=royal palace has just launched new social media pages on both Facebook and Instagram.

Both show heir apparent Crown Prince Frederik photographing his mother Queen Margrethe, reminiscing, as she walks around Amalienborg Palace, the family’s Copenhagen home.