“There are a lot of rumours of tension between Mary and Fred,” says the source. “There are whispers running wild of a divorce or possible split, and it’s become very stressful for the whole palace – trying to work out what’s going on. The truth is that like any married couple, Fred and Mary are having a tough time of it at the moment.”
The couple’s 14-year union has been feeling the strain since Frederik, 50, underwent back surgery in September and was forced to scale back his public engagements.
He’s taking longer than expected to return to full health and has been unable to take part in his usual exercise regime.
Meanwhile Mary’s been forced to increase her work duties and as she’s already one of the world’s busiest royals, the mum-of-four is feeling understandably overwhelmed.
“It’s hard for Fred to understand sometimes and he’s a little dismissive of her feelings,” notes the royal insider.
Indeed, the strained couple appear to be buckling under the pressure.
Not only are they parents to their children, Prince Christian, 13, Princess Isabella, 11, and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, 7, but they’re gearing up to assume their biggest roles yet when they take over as King and Queen of Denmark – a task that is bound to put pressure on even the most stable of marriages.
There are also other tensions at play within the royal couple’s relationship, including the speculation in the Danish press about Fred’s relationship with the family’s nanny.
It’s been noted that the unnamed pretty blonde is often pictured alongside Fred looking happy and upbeat, in stark comparison to solemn Mary.
Adding to her woes, Mary is feeling homesick and trapped in Denmark as she faces the festive season without her Australian family.
“The fact that Mary isn’t going home to Australia this Christmas has also caused tension,” explains the source.
“Mary loves her trips back home, and she’s missing her family more than usual at the moment so it’s weighing her down that she can’t come home to visit.”
The truth is, despite their difficulties, Mary and Fred’s marriage has always remained strong and they are determined to work through this rough patch as a couple.
“Mary loves Fred, she wants to be queen and she knows they’re going to be wonderful monarchs for Denmark,” adds the source. “She knows Fred couldn’t do it without her – couldn’t be king without her – they just need to get through these difficult times.”
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea, on sale now.