23 years ago, no could have predicted a royal love story for the ages was about to unfold. Today, Mary Donaldson is the Crown Princess of Denmark, married to the future king, Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark.
But Mary’s road to love began like any other romance. She first crossed paths with Fred at Sydney CBD pub the Slip Inn during the 2000 Olympics. The then 28-year-old had no idea she’d just met a Danish royal.
“The first time we met we shook hands,” she recalled. “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?'”
The first year of their romance was a long-distance relationship, with Frederik making secret trips to Australia. In 2001, Mary moved to Denmark and their story rocketed into international folklore.
Two years later, on October 8, 2003, it was announced that the couple were officially engaged.
“I don’t recall wishing that one day I would be a princess,” Mary said shortly after the engagement. “I wanted to be a veterinarian.”
The couple married on May 14, 2004, at Copenhagen Cathedral in the nation’s capital, where Mary wore a beautiful gown created by Danish designer Uffe Frank.
“From today, Mary is mine and I am hers,” Fred said at the altar. “I love her and I will protect her with all my love.”
Frederik and Mary have been married for 19 years and are the proud parents to four children: Prince Christian (born on Oct. 15, 2005), Princess Isabella (born on Apr. 21, 2007), and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine (born Jan. 8, 2011).
Keep scrolling to see Mary and Frederik’s romance in pictures!
Prince Frederik may be a royal, but not even he could escape the bowl haircut epidemic! Fortunately his charming smile and those adorable cheeks make him look very sweet.
23 years ago, no could have predicted a Hobart girl would steal a Danish prince’s heart. Then known as Mary Donaldson, the girl from Tassie first crossed paths with ‘just Fred’ at the Sydney’s Slip Inn pub during the 2000 Olympics.
“The first time we met we shook hands. I didn’t know he was the prince of Denmark. Half an hour later someone came up to me and said, ‘Do you know who these people are?'” she recalls.
For the first year of their romance, the couple’s relationship was long-distance, with Fred making secret trips from Copenhagen to Sydney. The couple is pictured here at the 2002 Melbourne Cup.
Of the moment he proposed, Fred recalls, “We decided we wanted to go to Rome, just to see Rome. And I had never been to Rome before. I thought, “This is the moment. “Seize the day and… get your kneepads on.” And then suddenly, on one of those wonderful areas in Rome, I had to say, ‘This is it, Mary’.”
The couple regularly attend royal functions together.
After Frederik proposed in 2003, Mary joked that she “wasn’t allowed to say no” to the engagement.
Fred was a man in love, and the couple married on May 14, 2004, in Copenhagen.
Proving to be a real-life Prince Charming, Fred said at the altar, “From today, Mary is mine and I am hers. I love her and I will protect her with all my love.”
High-five to Mary and Fred, the ultimate team!
The Danish royals sealed their marriage with an official stamp.
After 19 years of marriage, Frederik and Mary still have that wedding day sparkle.
While Mary has embraced Danish culture, Australia will always be a home for the future Queen.
Mary recalls when she first met Frederik, he left an impression… kind of. “Something clicked. It wasn’t the fireworks in the sky or anything like that but there was a sense of excitement.”
That “click” lead to four beautiful children: Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.
Their firstborn and heir to the throne behind his dad, Prince Christian, was born in 2005.
The couple then welcomed their second child, Princess Isabella, in January 2007.
The couple welcomed their adorable twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine in 2011.
Fred only has eyes for his Princess.
The Danish royals know how to have a splendid family vacation.
Not even a glass tank can simmer down these two lovebirds.
The couple supporting Denmark at the London Olympics in 2012 (we’re sure Mary was wearing her Aussie colours underneath…).
A loving kiss for his wife.
Regal fashion on point.
Especially when it comes to an official royal function.
With her twin treasures, Vincent and Josephine.
What a stunning family.
Princess Isabella is a cheeky little one.
The two even wave in sync.
The Crown Prince and Princess stunned on the cover of Vogue Australia in 2016.
Coming full circle! 23 years after meeting during the Sydney Olympics, Princess Mary and Prince Fred supported both Australia and Denmark at the Rio Olympics. Watch Mary talk about the Olympics in the next slide. Gallery continues after the video!
The Crown Prince and Princess look at ease with a Sydney backdrop.
Frederik and Mary set sail in 2017 on the pristine Sydney Harbour as guests of Wild Oats for the CYCA SOLAS Big Boat Challenge.
The royal couple are famously athletic- the Danish royal family participated in the Royal Run in May 2018.
As part of Crown Prince Frederik’s 50th birthday celebrations, the family stepped out to unveil his official portrait.
The family of six are quite possibly one of the most photogenic families in the world.
The two are still besotted with each other.
Mary and Fred were all smiles with their family as they cheered on the Danish national handball team. (Image: Getty Images)
19 years of marriage and the Danish royal couple still look so in love.
To mark 800 years of the Danish flag, the Crown Prince and Princess colour-coordinated in red and looked like the ultimate royal couple.
During their 2019 summer getaway, the parents-of-four posed for a photo.
As one of Norwegian Princess Ingrid Alexandra’s godparents, Crown Prince Frederik attended the young royal’s confirmation with his wife and their son Prince Christian.
Date night in Tokyo! Before attending a banquet for the newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito in the Japanese capital, the loved-up couple posed for a photo with the city skyline in the background.
Even to this day, Frederik still looks at Mary as though he’s struck gold.
In May 2020, the pair were loved up as ever when they shared a sweet date night snap from the comfort of their own couch.
The kids are most definitely alright as the family enjoyed a special family holiday in their home country in the summer of 2020. Despite COVID restricting them from travelling, the tight-knit royals shared some special memories together – as was made clear in these stunning images from the palace at the time.
As the lockdown continued into 2021, Mary and Fred shared this sweet insight from their lounge as the kids enjoyed watching their national handball team win the world championships – look at that celebration!
The Danish royal Palace shared this image of Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik talking to Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden with her husband Prince Daniel, alongside Crown Prince Haakon and his wife Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway. During the Covid safe zoom they discussed family life.
The couple shared a rare moment of PDA in January 2022 when they visited Koldinghus to open the exhibition Mary and the Crown Princesses that was commissioned in honour of Mary’s 50th birthday.
A series of official portraits of Mary and Frederik was released ahead of the Crown Princess’ 50th.
What a regal couple!
To celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary – which happened to coincide with Mother’s Day 2023, the Crowned Prince Frederik shared this adorable snap of Princess Mary, writing:
“My wife and I have our wedding anniversary today. A very special day for both of us, as we like to mark – also with our four children,” he said.
“This year the day coincides with Mother’s Day. Therefore, special love for you, Mary, as a spouse and as a mother.
“And at the same time, I would like to say happy mother’s day to all the mothers around the whole country.”