Monday, December 12, 2011

Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark

Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat, RE (Mary Elizabeth; née Donaldson; born 5 February 1972) is the wife of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark. Frederik is the heir apparent to the throne of Denmark, which means that at the time Frederik inherits the throne, Mary will automatically assume the feminine form of his title and rank, becoming Queen consort of Denmark.

The couple met at the Slip Inn, a pub in Sydney, when the prince was visiting Australia during the 2000 Summer Olympics. Their official engagement in 2003 and their marriage the following year were the subject of extensive attention from Australian and European news media, which portrayed the marriage as a modern "fairytale" romance between a prince and a commoner.

Early life
Mary Donaldson was born the youngest of the four children of mathematician and Professor John Dalgleish Donaldson (born 5 September 1941) and his first wife, Henrietta "Etta" Clark Donaldson, née Horne, (12 May 1942 – 20 November 1997), who had emigrated from Scotland to Australia in 1963. Mary has three older siblings:

    * Jane Alison Stephens (a pharmacist) (b. 26 December 1965);
    * Patricia Anne Bailey (an intensive care nurse) (b. 16 March 1968);
    * John Stuart Donaldson (a geologist, b. 9 July 1970).

Henrietta Donaldson, Mary's mother, was executive assistant to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Tasmania. In 2001, five years after her death, Mary's father, Professor John Donaldson remarried. His second wife is English author and novelist Susan Elizabeth Donaldson, née Horwood, known by pseudonym Susan Moody.

Mary was born and raised in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

As a girl, Mary was heavily involved in sports and other extracurricular activities both at school and elsewhere. She studied piano, flute, clarinet and played basketball and hockey. Her early love of horses led her to ride competitively as a teenager, on her horse, Diana.

Mary began primary school in Clear Lake City, now Houston, Harris County, Texas, while her father was working there. On returning to Hobart she attended Sandy Bay Infants School, Waimea Heights Primary School and then Taroona High School in Tasmania. She attended Waimea Heights Primary School from 1978 to 1982.

She completed her secondary education at Taroona High School and Hobart Matriculation College. For the last two years of her secondary education Mary attended Hobart College from which she graduated.

She studied at the University of Tasmania for five years. From 1989 to 1994 Mary completed a combined degree in Commerce and Law (BCom, LLB) at the University of Tasmania. Between 1994 and 1996, Mary attended a graduate program and qualified with certificates in advertising from The Advertising Federation of Australia (AFA) and direct marketing from the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA).

The Crown Princess's mother tongue is English and Danish is her second language. She studied French during her secondary education. In 2002, she briefly taught English in Paris.

While studying in Tasmania, Mary reportedly had a joint business interest in a company called Kingcash, with Brent Annells, with whom she had a seven-year relationship in the 1990s.

Biographies detail that she worked for Australian and global advertising agencies after graduating in 1995. Upon graduation Mary moved to Melbourne to work in advertising. She became a trainee in marketing and communications with the Melbourne office of DDB Needham, taking a position of account executive. In 1996, Mary was employed by Mojo Partners as an account manager. In 1998, six months after her mother's death, she resigned and travelled to America and Europe. In Edinburgh, she worked for three months as an account manager with Rapp Collins Worldwide; then, in early 1999, she was appointed as an account director with the international advertising agency Young & Rubicam in Sydney.

In June 2000, Mary moved to a smaller Australian agency, Love Branding, working for a short time as the company's first account director. However, in the (Australian) spring of 2000 until December 2001, she became sales director and a member of the management team of Belle Property, a real estate firm specialising in luxury property. In the first half of 2002 Mary taught English at a business school in Paris but, on moving to Denmark permanently, she was employed by Microsoft Business Solutions (5 September 2002 – 24 September 2003) near Copenhagen as a project consultant for business development, communications and marketing.

Courtship and engagement
Mary Donaldson met Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark at the Slip Inn during the 2000 Summer Olympics on 16 September in Sydney. They conducted a long-distance relationship by phone, email and letter and Frederik made a number of discreet visits to Australia. On 15 November 2001 the Danish weekly magazine Billed Bladet named Mary as Frederik's girlfriend. Mary moved to Europe in December 2001 and, while she was working as an English tutor in Paris, she visited Denmark privately and was photographed attending weddings and christenings of friends with Frederik. Mary and Frederik were photographed during 2003 at various private outings in Denmark. On 24 September 2003 the Danish court announced that Queen Margrethe II intended to give her consent to the marriage at the State Council meeting scheduled for 8 October 2003.

Mary Donaldson and Crown Prince Frederik became officially engaged on 8 October 2003.

Mary Donaldson and Crown Prince Frederik married on 14 May 2004 in Copenhagen Cathedral, in Copenhagen. Mary wore a wedding gown designed by Danish designer Uffe Frank and had a small bridal party which included her two sisters and her friend Amber Petty, a radio announcer on commercial radio in Australia. Frederik was supported by his brother Prince Joachim. Three of Mary's nieces, Erin and Kate Stephens and Madisson Woods, were flower girls; Frederik's nephew Prince Nikolai of Denmark and first cousin once removed, Count Richard von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth were pageboys. The wedding  was celebrated in Copenhagen and at Fredensborg Palace. The couple reportedly spent their honeymoon in Africa.

The Danish Folketing (parliament) passed a special law (Mary's Law) giving Mary Donaldson Danish citizenship upon her marriage, a standard procedure for new foreign members of the royal family. Mary was previously a dual-citizen of Australia and the United Kingdom. Formerly a Presbyterian, Mary became Lutheran. Shortly before entering the royal family, Mary signed a marriage agreement similar to those of her father-in-law and her former sister-in-law. The agreement was subsequently updated in late 2006. The details of these have never been made public, but it can be assumed that they deal with financial matters, royal status and custodial rights to the children in the event of a divorce.

The Crown Princess and her family currently reside at Frederik VIII's Palace, one of the four palaces that make up the Amalienborg Palace complex. From May 2004 to mid-December 2010, they resided at The Chancellery House, a side building at Fredensborg Palace.

On 15 October 2005, Mary gave birth to Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John at Copenhagen University Hospital. Frederik was present at the birth. The infant was healthy, weighing 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs) and measuring 51 cm (20 ins). His name was announced at the christening on 21 January 2006 at Christiansborg Palace Chapel in Copenhagen. He is second in the line of succession to the throne, after his father.

On 21 April 2007, Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe was born, at 3.350 kg and 50 cm long. She was christened at Fredensborg Palace chapel on 1 July 2007 and is third in line to the throne.

On 6 August 2010, it was announced that the Crown Princess was pregnant with twins. The Crown Princess reportedly said that the pregnancy was a surprise, but another report claimed Mary wanted more children; and that the pair have denied suggestions the pregnancy resulted from fertility treatment. In late 2010, the family appeared in the German edition of Vogue in a series of official portraits showing the couple and their children, including pictures of Mary in profile with the pregnancy being obvious. The Crown Princess was admitted to hospital on January 8, 2011, in preparations for the birth of the twins. The Crown Princess gave birth to a baby boy—whom her husband Frederik joked about calling Elvis, as the "King of Rock and Roll" had the same birthday —at 10:30 am local time (weight 2.674 kg., length: 47 cm), and a baby girl at 10:56 am (weight: 2.554 kg., length: 46 cm.), on January 8. Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary left the hospital with their newborn twins on 14 January 2011. The names were made public at their royal christening on Thursday, 14 April 2011, which took place at the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen. The twins are called Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander and Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda.

Royal life
HRH the Crown Princess of Denmark attends the wedding of the Crown Princess of Sweden. She is pictured here surrounded by Princess Máxima of the Netherlands; the Prince of Orange, heir-apparent of the Netherlands; the Crown Princess of Norway; and the Queen of the Netherlands.

Following the wedding, the couple embarked upon a summer cruise of mainland Denmark aboard the royal yacht Dannebrog, and then to Greenland and later the 2004 Athens Olympics. In 2005, during the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen, the royal family was involved in related events throughout the year. Frederik and Mary marked it in London, New York and in Australia, where Mary was made Honorary HCA Ambassador to Australia in the Utzon Room of the Sydney Opera House. In 2005 the royal family visited Faroe Islands.

Since becoming Crown Princess of Denmark, Mary has made a number of international visits  and Frederik and Mary participated in the reburial ceremonies for Empress Maria Feodorovna in Denmark and Saint Petersburg.

In the context of immigrant issues in Denmark, Mary has visited the disadvantaged migrant areas of Vollsmose (2006), Gellerup (2007), and Vilborg (2010), and has participated in integration projects and to teach the Danish language to refugees. As patron of the Danish Refugee Council Mary visited Uganda (2008) and East Africa (2011) and supports fundraising for the region.

Mary has played an active role in promoting an anti-bullying program based on an Australian model through the auspices of Denmark's Save the Children.

Mary is also involved in a new campaign to raise awareness and safe practices among Danes about skin cancer through The Danish Cancer Society.

In September 2007 Mary formally established the Mary Foundation, with capital from public and private donations, to advance cultural diversity and encourage a sense of the right to belong and contribute to society for those who are socially isolated or excluded.

Mary was voted Woman of the Year 2008 by a Danish magazine, Alt for damerne. The Princess donated her cash reward to charity.

She was interviewed by Parade Magazine (USA) and television programs of Andrew Denton (Australia) and USA Today (USA).

As a native English-speaker, Mary's main priority from the time of her engagement was to master the Danish language. Mary has acknowledged that this was a challenge for her in several interviews at the time of her engagement and marriage.

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