Inside Queen Mary and King Frederik’s fairytale romance

Their love story is truly a movie come to life.
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The love story of Frederik Andre Henrik Christian, the King of Denmark, and Australian-born Mary Donaldson truly is a fairytale come to life. 

WATCH NOW: Princess Mary and Prince Frederik dance together at royal ball. Article continues after video. 

Blossoming from a chance encounter (in a Sydney pub of all places) during the Sydney Olympics in September 2000 – their instant connection quickly grew into a long-distance relationship, a cross-continental move for Mary, marriage, and four children – all of whom are now in line for the Danish throne. 

RELATED || Is Queen Mary still an Australian citizen? 

Whilst their romance seems like a relationship similar to those depicted in books, television shows, and movies, a Prince falling head over heals for a “commoner”, their relationship has been anything but smooth sailing, with Mary sacrificing her life in Australia, and embarking on a new and entirely unexpected chapter of her life as a Princess (and now Queen) of Denmark. 

As Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has now abdicated and Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary have ascended to the throne, New Idea revisits this picture-perfect royal romance, from their first meeting to their life some 23 years later.

Celebrating their engagement. (Credit: Getty)

How did King Frederik and Queen Mary meet?

“The first time we met we shook hands,” Mary has previously said of her first meeting with her future husband at the Slip Inn pub in Sydney. 

“I didn’t know he was Prince Frederik. Half an hour later someone came up to me and said, ‘Do you know who these people are?'”

At the time of their first interaction, Mary was working as an advertising executive. 

In another reflection upon their first meeting, Mary shared that she knew Frederik was someone special. 

“Something clicked. It wasn’t the fireworks in the sky or anything like that but there was a sense of excitement,” she said in a 2005 interview. 

A fairtyale romance. (Credit: Getty)

Does Princess Mary speak Danish? 

After a year of long-distance, Mary made the official move to Denmark to be closer to her beau. Whilst we are sure her boyfriend had already been helping her develop her Danish language skills, her move signified just how serious the pair were about each other. 

From the moment she touched down on Danish soil, Mary studied the language intensively. 

Speaking with our sister publication The Australian Women’s Weekly in 2017, royal commentator Lars Hovbakke Sørensen revealed that the Tasmanian native had picked up the language (which is notoriously difficult to learn due to its hard guttural sounds and many vowels) like a true master. 

“Crown Princess Mary’s Danish is very good, and she learned quickly,” he said at the time. 

Whilst Mary will never quite be able to shake her Australian accent, over the years royal watchers have noticed her voice take on a more distinct Danish accent – presumably due to her two decades living in Denmark. 

WATCH NOW: Queen Mary’s children make fun of her Australian accent. Article continues after video.

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In a hilarious video featuring her children released by the Danish Royal Family to celebrate her 50th birthday in February 2022, her children poked fun at her Australian accent. 

“She has an Australian accent, so there are some words she says a bit funny,” Princess Isabella joked. 

“Sometimes, if she wants to say “put the dog in its basket,” it always turns into, “the dog lies in its hook,” her brother Prince Christian added. 

“She tries to pronounce right at home,” sibling Vincent also said, his twin sister Josephine also jokingly mimicking her mothers Aussie twang. 

A family portrait to celebrate Prince Christian’s 18th birthday. (Credit: Kongehuset/Danish Royal Family)

When did King Frederik and Queen Mary marry? 

Just over two years since they first locked eyes on that fateful night in Sydney, the then Prince Frederik proposed with an engagement ring that featured an emerald-cut diamond and two emerald-cut ruby baguettes.

“I don’t recall wishing that one day I would be a princess,” Mary said shortly after news of their upcoming nuptials was made public. 

“I wanted to be a veterinarian,” she joked. 

On May 14th, 2004, the lovebirds tied the knot at Copenhagen Cathedral, Mary donning a gorgeous gown designed by Danish designed Uffe Frank. 

“From today, Mary is mine and I am hers,” Fred said at the altar during his vows. “I love her and I will protect her with all my love.”

Prince Christian will one day be crowned King of Denmark. (Credit: Getty)

How many children do Prince Frederik and Princess Mary have?

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mary shared that she hoped her children all grew up to be “strong and independent individuals” who dared to “follow their aspirations.”

“It’s important that they know who they are, are proud of who they are and the family they belong to, and what that family represents to the Danes.”

She also shared that her children do not expect “apanage” – the Danish equivalent of Civil List privileges. 

Prince Christian will one day become King of Denmark. (Credit: Getty)

Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John 

Their eldest child Prince Christian was born on October 15th, 2005. 

He is currently second in line to the Danish throne and will become Crown Prince of Denmark when his father ascends.

In 2023, he turned 18, celebrating the occasion with a lavish ball that brought together royalty and aristocracy from across Europe.

Shortly after, Christian signed a declaration of the constitution, meaning that if needed, like his parents, he could officially act as a regent of Denmark if his grandmother was unable. 

Princess Isabella is the spitting image of her mother. (Credit: Getty)

Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe 

Also known as the Countess of Monpezat, Princess Isabella was born on April 21st, 2007. 

She is currently studying at the prestigious Ingrid Jespersens Gymnasieskole in Copenhagen. 

Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine celebrated their 13th birthday in 2023. (Credit: Danish Royal House)

Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander and Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda 

Completing the family, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine arrived into the world on January 8th, 2011. 

Vincent was born first, 26 minutes before his twin sister. 

The pair are currently studying at the elite Tranegard School in Copenhagen. 

A love that has stood the test of time. (Credit: Getty)

What has King Frederik said about his wife Queen Mary?

Shortly after being crowned King of Denmark, Frederik gushed over his wife in a brand new autobiography titled The King’s World that was released in celebration of his coronation. 

“I love marriage, my wife, our children, and the whole happy base that arises for the people manage to stay together and persevere,” the King penned. 

He also revealed that he had found “peace and joy” with his wife. Awww!

In another excerpt, Frederik reveals how his wife has changed him for the better. 

“I have learned a lot from having a wife who from time to time reminds me that I am of course not always right and that my words are not reliable per se, just because I’m the man of the house.”

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