The King and Queen of Denmark faced criticism after slashing the number of charities they work with, cutting ties with major organizations that have supported the monarchy in the past, and it’s something the British royals might learn from.

Margrethe II abdicated as queen of Denmark on January 14, passing the crown to her son King Frederik X, supported by his wife Queen Mary.

With a new reign came a review of all the charities and organizations the Danish royals work with and some have been cut from the roster.

King Frederik and Queen Mary of Denmark
King Frederik X and Queen Mary at Frederik VIII’s Palace, Amalienborg, Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 26, 2024. The royal couple have cut 118 groups the royal household previously partnered with.

Martin Sylvest Andersen/Getty Images

Frederik and Mary raised eyebrows when they announced 118 have been dropped while 140 remain.

The bold move comes after King Charles III and aides have also reviewed the long list of patronages held by his mother Queen Elizabeth II before her death in November 2022.

The British royals may therefore want to keep an eye on how these big decisions go down in Denmark.

The Daily Mail, a major pro-monarchy title in Britain, appeared to react with some hostility to the Danish royal family’s decision, with an article suggesting the couple “have likely infuriated thousands of Danes.”

Historian Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen, an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, told Danish news website B.T: “They [the organizations that have been dropped] will undoubtedly be upset.”

“Now they [the King and Queen] have to live up to this,” he added. “The royals must show that when you are a member of the royal house, you actually engage in the protectorates. And the fact that they will be time-limited is again a promise that there will be activity.”

Charles, however, can likely breathe a sigh of relief as he and other senior royals have reviewed more than 1,000 organizations and retained 834, including 376 positions previously held by Queen Elizabeth II, 367 held by Charles while he was Prince of Wales and 91 held by Queen Camilla when she was Duchess of Cornwall.

Frederik and Mary have scrapped a far greater percentage, keeping around 54 percent, and losing some high-profile affiliations, such as with Copenhagen Zoo, despite bosses naming a section of it after the queen.

They have also limited the duration of their patronages to five-year terms, meaning they will regularly part ways with organizations and find new ones to replace them.

Frederik and Mary said in a statement: “Throughout the centuries, The Royal House of Denmark’s patronages have supported the important work of nonprofit organizations in Denmark, the realm and beyond. It is a tradition we are very proud to continue, and one which we, as a family, hope to further strengthen and develop.

“Through our royal patronages, we wish to support efforts which promote Danish culture, science and enterprise, protect our nature, and give a voice for the marginalized and vulnerable in our society. This long-standing tradition serves to bring us together in small and large communities.

“An assessment has thus been made of all royal patronages, which up to the succession of the throne had totaled 258,” a press release added.

“Henceforward, the number of patronages totals 140 for the members of the royal family.”

Jack Royston is chief royal correspondent for Newsweek, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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