A source close to the Danish royal family tells New Idea that the usually publicity shy John Dalgleish Donaldson has been very concerned about Mary in recent months and felt he needed to show the family’s support.
“Mary’s dad has been really worried about her since all the nasty rumours about her divorce surfaced and wanted to be by her side,” says a source close to Mary’s family.
“He hates to think of her going through such scrutiny with no family around her, so he really wanted to spend some time with her and make sure Mary’s OK.”
John – and Mary’s stepmother Susan Moody – were present with Mary, Frederik and their children at the Danish Music Conservatory Children’s Choir Christmas concert on Dec. 8.
While, like Mary, he smiled broadly for official photographs, when caught off guard John appeared as strained and downcast as his royal daughter.
Now retired, former professor John and Susan are thought to split their time between Denmark and Australia and their homes in France and the UK.
John worked in Denmark at the University of Copenhagen in the mid-2000s. Since leaving there he’s been absent from public life.
Meanwhile, as New Idea reported last month, Mary is feeling particularly homesick for Australia where the hot climate and summer festive tradition is markedly different to the cold and dark Danish winter.
She last visited Down Under in December 2017, for a private family holiday, spending time in Sydney before decamping to Tasmania where they spent time with family.
The trip was particularly poignant as royal watchers believed it might be Mary’s last Christmas trip to Australia.
If, as is suspected, Queen Margrethe abdicates in 2019, it’s likely that as Queen, Mary will have to spend all future festive periods in Denmark.
“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,” an insider told New Idea at the end of November.
It’s an emotional time for Mary who is close to her Australian family, which includes her brother John and sisters Jane and Patricia. But while there have been reports that Mary’s relationship with her father has been strained over the years – with royal watchers noting
John appears to have been absent from her life – this isn’t the real story, according to our source.
“It’s true it’s been a long time since Mary and her dad were together and some friends of the family were starting to wonder if there’d been a falling out,” says the insider. “But the truth is Mary is just so busy with all her royal duties and being a mum, and her dad respects that.”
Last month, the Crown Princess faced reports that she was feeling the pressure as her royal duties were increased in the aftermath of Frederik’s long surgery recuperation.
There were also unsubstantiated rumours circulating in the Danish press about the royal family’s young, female nanny and Prince Frederik.
Unsurprisingly, Mary’s father was keen to lend the family his support during this difficult time. And while they are in constant communication, John realised that a face-to-face visit was needed.
“They talk all the time,” explains the source, adding, “But seeing Mary go through such pain with all these vicious rumours, he was really worried about her and wanted to be with her.”