Why We Love Denmark's Crown Princess Mary, Her Husband Frederik, And Her Flawless Style
Hers is another fairy tale marriage for the ages and a life full of success and inspiration
Before there was Kate Middleton's Disney-esque wedding to Prince William, there was Mary Donaldson and Prince Frederik of Denmark's fairytale courtship.
Like the now Duchess of Cambridge, Crown Princess Mary was a regular girl going about her business and chasing her own ambitions of success until a chance meeting would irreversibly change her life for the better, a moment that would dictate her future not as a commoner, but as a ruling monarch.
The royal couple celebrated 19 years of married life this year, and as they look forward to making it to two whole decades of happy togetherness in a few months' time, we give you all the reasons to look up to Mary, her marriage, and her impeccable style, too!
Who was Mary before her royal marriage?
Mary was born in Australia to parents who worked in the academe. For practically all of her youth, she had never harbored fantasies of becoming a princess and instead, devoted her time to doing well in school and climbing the corporate ladder. The young Mary would go on to earn double degrees in law and commerce from the University of Tasmania, proving that she was hardworking, intelligent, and dedicated to her responsibilities.
Her early 20s as a young professional soon turned out to be a particularly colorful time in her life as she was given the opportunity to travel and work abroad in several locations for different companies in several industries.
Immediately after graduating from university, Mary took up jobs in advertising and marketing and was quickly promoted to a managerial position within her first year of employment.
However, her mother's death led her to explore opportunities elsewhere in the world, leading her to move to North America and Europe and eventually settle down in Edinburgh, Scotland as an account manager for American advertising agency, Rapp Collins Worldwide.
After her European stint, Mary would make her way back to Australia, this time, as an account director for Australian agency Love Branding and finally, sales director Australian luxury real estate company, Belle Property.
Mary had gone from fresh grad to big boss in the span of six years, and it was at the peak of her young professional career that destiny would have her path cross with that of a young Frederik who, by coincidence, was out for drinks with friends in the same bar that Mary had decided to go to on the same evening.
How did the meet-cute happen?
If Mary's approach to life had been straightforward and no nonsense up until then, romance had other plans for her and Frederik.
It was the 2000 Summer Olympics that had led the noble Dane across the globe to Australia, and at the Slip Inn pub, he would take notice of a 20-something Mary and speak to her for the first time. As the story goes, the pair hit it off instantly with the Prince's friends leaving out his royal identity until much later in the evening.
She was surprised, as one might imagine, but unfazed. She was accomplished in her own right, after all, and had enough confidence to carry herself even when it was a royal showing interest in her.
And the courtship that followed?
The pair parted ways that night but not without the intention of keeping in touch. Even when the Prince and his party had all packed up and gone back to Denmark, it was said that Frederik and Mary kept up their long distance relationship with the royal even making as much as six visits back to Australia just to see Mary in a few months' time.
Heartwarmingly, the Danish court had complete knowledge of his relationship and supported the pair; they disguised Frederik's visits as training sessions for sailing, a sport that he was known to love and often compete in.
Still keeping their relationship relatively lowkey, Mary made the decision of a lifetime by moving to Europe to be closer to Frederik in December of 2001, less than six months after their meeting. While there, Mary continued to support herself by briefly becoming a English tutor in Parisian business school, and then a project consultant for Microsoft Business Solutions back in Copenhagen.
Two more years of covert courtship would define the early stages of this couple's relationship, and in 2003, they would make their very first public appearance together at the Tasmania Yacht Club in Hobart, Mary's hometown.
Then, in September 2003, it was announced that Frederik's mother, ruling monarch Queen Margarethe, had given her consent to her son and within weeks, Mary and Frederik were officially engaged. Many thought that Mary's engagement ring was symbolic of her then newly adoptive home, Denmark; the stunning piece of jewelry was made up of a diamond and two rubies, reflective of the Danish flag.
And now, the wedding bells and married life as a royal
By May 2014, Mary had officially become crown princess of Denmark.
She married Frederik in a cream wedding dress by Danish designer Uffe Frank at Copenhagen Cathedral and her complete transformation to becoming one of the most graceful, stylish royal women to date soon began.
As the new wife of a crown prince (the royal expected to ascend to the throne when the ruling monarchs pass away or abdicate the throne), she could one day become queen and represent Denmark on the global stage.
The role demanded that she be able to converse fluently and elegantly in Danish, learn the country's political, historical, and cultural histories, know how to conduct herself as a royal—even learning how o correctly accept a bouquet in public and how to pass it on!—in public engagements, convert to the royal family's Lutheran faith, and of course, adopt a wardrobe fitting for a queen-to-be.
She was a relatively simple dresser growing up but her status as a public figure called for a complete closet overhaul that replaced her staples of jeans and casual shirts with some of the most fashionable pieces from the world's most luxurious labels.
With sound advice from royal stylists and personal sessions with makeup artists and hair stylists, Mary soon became a transformed woman. It wasn't only her clothes that changed, but the way she conducted herself, too; she had more poise, more presence when she was in a room and in a crowd, making her very much a royal who lived up to her new title.
She's often seen in classic, tailored pieces these days that flatter her svelte physique. She and royal style icon Kate Middleton share a lot of similarities in terms of their fashion choices as both women seem to prefer solid colors in subdued tones over patterns, clean silhouettes as opposed to playful cuts, and timeless accents in contrast to trendy accessories.
We're big fans of the times Mary gets to don business suits too; she's not only beautiful in feminine ensembles, but in powerful outfits as well that many modern day women opt to wear.
At 47 years old, close to two decades after her life had been changed by meeting Frederik and with four children in their family, she looks as happy as ever!
Photos from @detdanskekongehus