The first of Europe’s spring weddings took place in Copenhagen when Crown Prince Frederik married his Australian born fiance, Mary Donaldson. It was a great day for the Danish royal family and Mary Donaldson, who captivated the nation with her charm and grace. Beautiful,confident,cool and charismatic are all epithets that have been given to Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, the Australian born girl of Scottish parentage, who became Crown Princess of Denmark on May 14.The highly popular groom, Crown Prince Frederik, has found a partner who seems an ideal match for a future king keenly aware of his duties. Mary Donaldson was born on 5 February,1972.The youngest of four children, she grew up in Tasmania. Her father, Scottish born JohnDonaldson, is a Professor of Mathematics. After the death of Mary’s mother, Henriette, in 1997,he married for a second time to the writer Susan Moody. Mary was educated at Hobart College and the University of Tasmania, gaining a BA degree in Law and Economics.After finishing university she worked for several companies,among them the property group Belle Property.
Crown Prince Frederik was born in Copenhagen on May 26,1968. He is the oldest son of Princess Margrethe and Prince Consort Henrik,(Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat). Frederik has one sibling, a younger brother Joachim, born on July 7,1969.Frederik became first in line to the throne as a young child when his grandfather King Frederik IX died in Jorgen Stegelmann, a man of broad culture and liberal views. In 1982 Frederik and Joachim were enrolled at the elite school École des Roches in Normandy, France. Prince Henrik wanted his sons to become acquainted with the culture and language of his native country. It was a difficult time for both the young princes. Frederik later recalled his far from happy feelings during this period of his life: “At that time the thought of being king was something scary, something dark and depressing. I felt as if a blanket had been thrown over my head,something which limited my opportunities and my hopes to explore the world.” France did, however, prove to be a positive experience. On their return to Denmark the princes were enrolled in the upper secondary school Oregaard Gymnasium in Hellerup, Copenhagen. Both now spoke English and French fluently and were in great shape physically. On 26 May,1986, Crown Prince Frederik turned eighteen. He had come of age officially and joined the Council of State,where the sovereign of the constitutional monarchy meets the country’s prime minister about fifteen times a year to sign acts of parliament. Since then Frederik has been entitled to rule on his mother’s behalf, although in Danish tradition the monarch does not abdicate and it is likely to be some years before he comes to the throne.
The Crown Prince has always been thoughtful, conscientious and very mindful of his duties, but also determined to forge his own path:“I do not want to be helped in anything I do. I want to test my own capabilities.” He has never hidden the fact that he would marry a lady chosen “from his heart.” He first met his future bride during a visit to Sydney in 2000 in connection with the Olympics of that year. Frederik was with the Danish sailing team when he met Mary at the Slip Inn Bar where they took an instant liking to one another. She was not aware that she was in conversation with a crown prince; she only learned that later from a friend. Frederik wanted to allow the relationship to develop naturally and a few months passed before it was reported in the Danish press that an Australian lawyer had won the Prince’s heart. Mary paid her first visit to Denmark in December 2001 and in January 2002 Frederik publicly confirmed the relationship. Royalty – Royalty Magazine (Extract Vol. 19/03)