International Royals

Prince Frederik's controversial brother puts on a brave face in rare Instagram snaps, amid bitter Danish royal feud

The candid family photos were taken by Joachim's second wife, Princess Marie.

By Rebecca Sullivan
There's been rumours of a feud brewing in the Danish royal family for months now, with reports Prince Frederik and his younger brother, Prince Joachim, are at war over Joachim neglecting his official royal responsibilities, while still being paid a whopping annual $834,000 salary.
But now the royals have made an attempt to put on a positive PR show, with Joachim and his family making a rare appearance on the Danish royal family's official Instagram account.
Joachim, 51, is sixth in line to throne behind Frederik, 52, and his wife Princess Mary, 48, along with their four children. He divorced from his first wife of 10 years, Alexandra, in 2005 and is now married to the glamorous Princess Marie, 44.
He has four children - two sons from his first marriage, Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, and another two children with his second wife, Prince Henrik and Princess Athena.
Prince Joachim with his second wife, Princess Marie. Image: Supplied
Marie and Joachim with their blended family. They have two children together, while Joachim has two older sons from his first marriage. Image: Supplied
Joachim and his family live in Paris, in their luxurious castle, and have been spending the past few months in lockdown there.
And on Wednesday morning, the Danish royal family's official Instagram account posted several candid photos of the family relaxing at their French estate.
"Summer Greetings from Château de Cayx," read the caption on the three photos, which were taken by Princess Marie.
Prince Joachim can be seen enjoying wine and bread with his blended family, as well as their dog, on the lush grounds of their country property.
(L-R): Prince Nikolai, Prince Henrik, Princess Athena and Prince Felix with their father, Prince Joachim. Image: Instagram
Princess Athena enjoying the French sunshine. Image: Instagram
The family dog looks out onto the sprawling luxury French estate. Image: Instagram
We are very used to the Danish royals using their social media platform to promote Mary and Frederik's family, but it's rare we see a glimpse of Joachim's brood.
This sudden pivot could have something to do with the family's bitter royal feud, which has been swirling for months.
Joachim, whose royal salary is paid from the Amalienborg Palace's purse, which is approved by the nation's parliament, recently completed his military training in Paris, and there are fears he could take his new qualifications and cut his ties from his royal family completely, in a #Megxit-style split similar to that of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
"The education he has completed might very well lead to a job outside of Denmark's borders," a local Danish newspaper reported last month.
Princess Marie, Prince Joachim, Princess Mary and Prince Frederik. Image: Getty
Royal sources have previously told Woman's Day that Joachim and Marie feel overshadowed by Mary and Frederik.
"Word is Joachim and Marie have been growing unsettled with royal life for years, especially since it feels like they are going nowhere with it," said a source.
"They're very much in Fred and Mary's shadow, which is a source of frustration for them. Ever since Mary came along, Fred has been able to do no wrong in the eyes of the public, and Joachim feels bad Marie has been so overshadowed by her sister-in-law."
Royal insiders confirmed tensions have been swelling between Joachim and Fred in recent years.
"The fact that Joachim and Marie spent the summer in France rather than with the family at their country castle is very telling," said a source.
"It won't surprise anyone if the palace announces his official exit any day now."
WATCH BELOW: The Danish royal children wish their grandmother a happy 80th birthday.