Worlds apart: Inside Princess Mary and Amber Petty’s friendship

There have been plenty of ups and downs over the years!
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Mary Donaldson from Hobart, Tasmania wowed the world with her fairy tale romance to second in line to the Danish throne, Prince Frederik in 2004.

After a chance encounter in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics, the couple were quick to court, eventually marrying in a dream Copenhagen wedding in 2004.

It’s hard to believe this straight out of a storybook love story is in fact real life.

And now almost 20 years later, Mary’s best friend and bridesmaid Amber Petty still can’t believe that her friend Mary, married her very own Prince.

Who is Amber Petty?

Amber originally met Mary whilst they were both working in advertising in Melbourne.

(IMAGE: Getty)

Amber is a former columnist and radio host, who stood alongside Mary as she wed Prince Frederik of Denmark as a bridesmaid alongside Mary’s two sisters, Patricia and Jane.

The pair both lived in Sydney by the time Mary met her now husband and had met whilst working in media and advertising in Melbourne.

Speaking of those early days, Amber told 9Honey that her bond with Mary was ”indescribable.”

”There was just so much love and kindness in one friendship.”

”I look back on my friendship with mary and so many other loving relationships and think, every bad thing aside, that’s why my life as been a success.”

Did they stay close when Mary moved to Denmark?

Amber (pink) was a bridesmaid for Mary’s wedding to Frederik alongside Mary’s sisters Jane and Patricia.

(IMAGE: Instagram)

Amber has opened up in her memoir about the internal struggle she faced when her best friend moved worlds away.

”I was losing a big love, and I didn’t know what the future held for either of us. It was a big loss and a big goodbye for me,” she said.

”It took me many years to understand what I was feeling under her spotlight was grief.”

Elaborating further, Amber said that she had turned to self harm and binge drinking to cope.

Has there been any drama between the two over the years?

The Danish royal household were reportedly not happy about the release of Amber’s ”tell all” memoir.

(IMAGE: Instagram)

In 2020, Womans Day learned that Mary was finding it ”increasingly harder” to maintain a friendship with her Melbourne based friend, and not just because she lived thousands of kilometres away in Copenhagen.

”Amber has been talking non stop about Princess Mary and taking it a little too far for her comfort,” a source said at the time.

”She has has her memoir – This Is Not A Love Song -and Mary is worried she’s going to feature in it way too much.”

Indeed, during a press tour for the novel, Amber shot an arrow through the widely believed story that Mary met her prince during a chance encounter over margaritas at Syndye’s Slip Inn pub during the 2000 Olympics.

“I’m sorry to break everybody’s hearts, but it is not always about randomly running into princes in pubs,” she said during an appearance on Sunrise.

“It wasn’t just a random meeting… It was an organised small dinner during the Olympics and Mary happened to be invited, and most of the other guests happened to be royals. That’s really the truth. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

Amber added that Mary and Frederik sat across from each other and developed a “really lovely connection”.

WATCH NOW: Amber reveals how Mary and Frederik REALLY met. Article continues after video.

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While Mary herself has never publicly confirmed the story, sources say she was “very upset” with Amber for going on the record about something so private.

The Hobart-born royal was also “distressed” to hear Amber has been confessing to the press that being a bridesmaid to your best friend-turned-princess wasn’t the joyful occasion everyone believed it to be.

The Danish press reports Amber claims “her friendship changed” with Mary after the wedding, and her move to Denmark “affected their relationship and their life”.

But speaking to 9Honey, the former bridesmaid said she had ”made a point” of keeping her friendship with Princess Mary out of it.

”I thought people would say I’m riding her coattails again,” she admitted.

Are Amber and Mary still friends?

This image from the royal wedding is one of the only images publically available that shows Amber and Mary together.

(IMAGE: Getty)

Despite public uncertainty and tabloid speculation, it seems that the friendship between these two is stronger than ever!

During her first visit to Australia with her family in tow in more than five years in December 2022, Amber was spotted in Bondi with her brood.

And whilst in Australia for a secret trip to visit family for her 50th birthday, Mary and Amber were also papped in Melbourne, dining and shopping in the suburb of Brighton.

Amber released a memoir detailing her experiences in the public eye and as Mary’s best friend in her 2021 tell all memoir This Is Not A Love Song.

(IMAGE: Instagram)

In a candid interview with Stellar Magazine in 2021, Amber revealed that whilst her best friend marrying a European Prince did present some unique challenges, their friendship was as strong as ever.

”For a long time, one of my coping mechanisms with the surreal side of where that friendship went was simply to anchor it down to the basic human elements of what it was, and is, which is actually just a story of two people falling in love and choosing to do life together.”

She then went on to describe Mary as her platonic ”soulmate.”

”Distance has always been hard, and not knowing when you’ll see and hug the people you love again is perhaps harder than ever.

”But I’ve learnt that we just need to be patient and grateful that we are still alive and healthy, and future memories are still there to be had.”

In 2021, Amber also confirmed to 7News that the pair were ”very, very close” to this day.

What is Amber up to now?

Both Mary and Amber are now in their 50s and feeling fabulous!

(IMAGE: Instagram/Getty)

Since her memoir was released Amber has created and hosted a range of podcasts, including Instrumental, The Wise Guides, The Silent Generation and Meet Me At The Barre, all of which are available for listening to here.

Amber is also working in the spiritual space, hosting events such as full moon ceremonies to ”guide attendees through ritual meditation” to ”identify” things that no longer serve them, while also demonstrating how to use a full moon to ”cleanse” and help people ”get back in sync.”

She is also working as a tarot reader and participates in energy healing through her business The Tarot Tea House.

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