Princess Mary

Queen Mary and King Frederik’s real life fairytale romance

Celebrate Mary Donaldson, the girl from Tassie, and her fairytale romance with Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark.
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24 years ago, no one could have predicted a royal love story for the ages was about to unfold. Today, Mary Donaldson is the Queen of Denmark, married to King Frederik.

“I love marriage, my wife, our children and the whole happy base that arises for the people who manage to stay together and persevere,” Frederik said days after the ascension ceremony in a new book The King’s Word.

But the road to Mary’s royal love story began like any other romance. She first crossed paths with Fred at Sydney CBD pub the Slip Inn during the 2000 Olympics. But 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, who were crowned King and Queen in January 2024, have now been married for 19 years and are the proud parents to four children: Prince Christian (born on October 15, 2005), Princess Isabella (born on April 21, 2007), and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine (born January 8, 2011).

Keep reading to see Mary and Frederik’s romance in pictures!


24 years ago, no one could have predicted a Hobart girl would steal a Danish prince’s heart, but by golly did she…


The two looked very much in love 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, in one of those wonderful areas in Rome, I had to say, ‘This is it, Mary’.”


Over the years, the couple have regularly attended royal functions together.


After Frederik proposed in 2003, Mary joked that she “wasn’t allowed to say no” to the engagement.


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.”


Such a gorgeous couple!


The Danish royals sealed their marriage with an official stamp.


And 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 Queen.


Their firstborn and heir to the throne, Prince Christian, was born in 2005.


The couple then welcomed their second child, Princess Isabella, in January 2007.


And finally, the couple welcomed their adorable twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine in 2011.


Fred only had eyes for Mary during this royal ball.


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.


We love a couple who coordinates their outfits.


As part of King Frederik’s 50th birthday celebrations, the family stepped out to unveil his official portrait.


Mary and Fred were all smiles with their family as they cheered on the Danish national handball team.


Another matching outfits moment…


To mark 800 years of the Danish flag, the then Crown Prince and Princess colour-coordinated in red, once again looking like the ultimate royal couple.


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 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 were released ahead of the Queen’s 50th.


What a regal couple!


To celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary – which happened to coincide with Mother’s Day 2023, King Frederik shared this adorable snap of Queen 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.”


Just days after he became King, Frederik published a book titled The King’s Word. And among the many stories shared in the biography, the King gushed about his wife Queen Mary.

“I love marriage, my wife, our children and the whole happy base that arises for the people who manage to stay together and persevere,” Frederik said in the book – which was written in collaboration with Jens Anderson.

“I remember how my mother, Queen Margrethe, said in her wedding speech in 2004 that I had found peace and joy with Mary,” he continued.

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