Thursday, January 5, 2012

Vild med Mary

Mary Donaldson was an ordinary Australian girl, a college graduate, who move from the family home on Tasmania to an apartment in the big city, Sydney, and a new job.   

In the late summer of 2000,  Mary Donaldson and a few girlfriends visited a local bar, where they met several young men, who were in town to take in the Summer Games.

But these young men were no ordinary tourists.  Two were heirs to the throne,  the Prince of Asturias, and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.   There appeared to be a mutual attraction between Frederik and Mary Donaldson.

This mutual attraction led to love and marriage and four kids in the baby carriage.   On May 14, 2004,  Mary Donaldson, escorted down the aisle by her Scots-born father, John Donaldson, married her prince.  

The Tassie Lassie had become a princess, a Crown Princess, the wife of the heir to the throne do Denmark.

It was not an easy transition from Australian commoner to a royal princess.  A new life, a new country, a new culture, and a very different new language to learn.    The last Crown Princess was her mother-in-law, Queen Margrethe II's mother, Ingrid, a princess of Sweden by birth.  

Ingrid was very much a royal princess, the daughter of the King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and his first wife, the British Princess Margaret of Connaught.   Ingrid was raised to marry well, and she married the future King Frederik IX of Denmark in 1935.

It is not a surprise that Frederik found his bride outside Denmark.  His father was born in France (and found the transition as the consort of a formidable woman to be rather difficult.)

The transition has also not been easy for Mary.  But as Denmark's future Queen Consort, Mary has largely stepped up to the plate, and had become a positive symbol for Denmark.  She has produced the required heir and spare (and a set of twins as back up).  She accompanies Frederik on many occasions, but has now become a a star in her own right. Her Danish improves with each year.  Mary may never become an international star in the same heaven as the younger Duchess of Cambridge or Crown Princess Victoria, the heiress apparent to the Swedish throne. 

In Denmark, however, Crown Princess Mary's star in the ascent, and Vild med Mary showcases Mary's transformation from the ordinary Australian to a Danish princess.

Celebrating this achievement is a new book, Vild med Mary (Politikens Forlag) that examines all the facets of Mary's life.   The authors are two respected journalists, Jim Lyngvild, and Karen Seneca. Lyngvild is known for his fashion reporting,

Do not be dissuaded by the Danish text because the photographs are awesome.  What a delight to turn the pages (235 or so) of this attractive book.  The authors offer a brief comparison between Mary and Ingrid in  photographs, cuddling pets, wearing hats, that sort of thing.

The two authors provide coverage of the career princess, the cover girl princess (the Australian magazines love putting Mary on the cover of local magazines -- although the Duchess of Cambridge may be giving Mary a run for her money.)  

Crown Princess Mary will one day be the Queen Consort of Denmark.  The Duchess of Cambridge will become the Queen Consort of Australia.  In Australia,  Mary is the local girl who became a princess.

Mary -- and Frederik - have their respective charities and foundations.  In recent months, Mary has traveled to Africa to under charitable duties.

The authors have included chapters on jewels and fashions, on the wedding, the children, Christian, Isabella, and the twins Vincent and Josephine. 

Vild med Mary is a stunningly gorgeous book that largely documents the life and career of Crown Princess Mary.  The title translates to Wild About Mary.  The price is 300 DK.

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