24 years ago, no one could have predicted that a royal love story for the ages was about to unfold.
We’re looking back at Mary Donaldson, the girl from Tassie, and her fairy-tale romance with Frederik the Crown Prince of Denmark.
Today, she is the Crown Princess of Denmark, married to the future king, Prince Frederik, and about to become the Queen of Denmark.
But Mary Donaldson’s road to love began like any other romance. She first crossed paths with Frederik (who introduced himself as “Fred”) at a Sydney CBD pub – the Slip Inn, during the 2000 Olympics.
Unbeknownst to the then 28-year-old, she’d just met the heir to the Danish throne.
Two years later, on October 8, 2003, it was announced that the couple were officially engaged.
Shortly after the engagement, Mary said, “I don’t recall wishing that one day I would be a princess. I wanted to be a veterinarian.”
Mary and Frederik tied the knot on May 14, 2004, at Copenhagen Cathedral in the nation’s capital, where Mary wore a beautiful gown created by Danish designer Uffe Frank.
At the altar, Fred professed his love to the whole world, saying, “From today, Mary is mine and I am hers. I love her and I will protect her with all my love.”
Today, Frederik and Mary have been married for almost 20 years and are the proud parents to four children: Prince Christian (born on Oct. 15, 2005), Princess Isabella (born on Apr. 21, 2007), and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine (born Jan. 8, 2011).
In celebration of Mary and Frederik ascending to the throne, we look back at their incredible love story.
Just days after their magical coronation, a royal book has been released including an exclusive interview with King Frederik.
The King took part in a series of interviews about his life for The King’s Word, amid allegations surrounding his marriage.
“I love marriage, my wife, our children and the whole happy base that arises for the people who manage to stay together and persevere.”
He went on to praise Queen Mary for how they “managed to stay together” amidst the drama and rumours that comes with being a royal.
Mary and Frederik arrived at the Traditional New Year’s Banquet arm-in-arm, following the announcement that they would become the King and Queen of Denmark on 14 January 2024.
The couple smiled for the camera at an event in the Netherlands in June 2022.
Mary and Frederik were hand-in-hand while attending Princess Benedikte of Denmarks 75th birthday partyin April 2019.
Mary and Frederik celebrating Frederik’s 50th birthday in May 2018.
Coming full circle! 16 years after meeting during the Sydney Olympics, Princess Mary and Prince Fred supported both Australia and Denmark at the Rio Olympics. Watch Mary talk about the Olympics in the next slide. Gallery continues after the video!
Princess Mary reveals who she will support at the Olympics
Of the moment he proposed, Fred recalls, “We decided we wanted to go to Rome, just to see Rome. And I had never been to Rome before. I thought, “This is the moment. “Seize the day and… get your kneepads on.” And then suddenly, on one of those wonderful areas in Rome, I had to say, ‘This is it, Mary’.”
No one could have predicted a Hobart girl would steal a Danish prince’s heart. Then known as Mary Donaldson, the girl from Tassie first crossed paths with ‘just Fred’ at the Sydney’s Slip Inn pub during the 2000 Olympics.
“The first time we met we shook hands. I didn’t know he was the prince of Denmark. Half an hour later someone came up to me and said, ‘Do you know who these people are?'” she recalls.
For the first year of their romance, the couple’s relationship was long-distance, with Fred making secret trips from Copenhagen to Sydney. The couple is pictured here at the 2002 Melbourne Cup.
Fred was a man in love, and the couple married on May 14, 2004, in Copenhagen.
The Danish royals sealed their marriage with an official stamp.
While Mary has embraced Danish culture, Australia will always be a home for the future Queen. But she does miss her childhood love, Fruit Tingles!
Mary recalls when she first met Fred, he’d left an impression… Well, kind of. “Something clicked. It wasn’t the fireworks in the sky or anything like that but there was a sense of excitement.”
That “click” lead to four beautiful kids: Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.
The happy parents with their firstborn and heir to the throne behind his dad, Prince Christian.
The Danish royals after the birth of Princess Isabella, in January 2011.
The couple regularly attend royal functions together.
There’s a reason why Princess Mary is considered to be one of the most fashionable royals. Even Chanel’s Karl Lagerfield is a fan of her style.
Mary joked that she “wasn’t allowed to say no” to the engagement.
Fred only had eyes for his Princess.
Proving to be a real-life Prince Charming, Fred said at the altar, “From today, Mary is mine and I am hers. I love her and I will protect her with all my love.” Relive their wedding in the next slide. Gallery continues after the video!
Relive Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik’s wedding day
Not even a glass tank can simmer down these two lovebirds.
The Danish royals know how to have a splendid family vacation.
The couple supporting Denmark at the London Olympics in 2012 (we’re sure Mary was wearing her Aussie colours underneath…).
A loving kiss for his wife.
Regal fashion on point.
In May 2024, the couple will celebrate 20 years of marriage.
High-five to Mary and Fred, the ultimate team!