An Australian as Danish queen Maria takes on a new

An Australian as Danish queen: Maria takes on a new role

His hometown, Hobart, on the Australian island of Tasmania, is more than 10,000 miles from Copenhagen. However, the 51-year-old Mary become Queen of Denmark on Sunday when her husband becomes Queen of Denmark Frederick X. his mother Margarida II replaced as head of state. The Danes value Maria not only for her elegance but above all for her social commitment and as an exemplary modern woman and mother.

Fateful meeting

As the advertising executive Maria Donaldson When she met Frederik in a bar in Sydney during the Olympic Games in the summer of 2000, she didn't know she was looking at the Danish crown prince and a crowd of Danish royalty. “Half an hour later, someone came up to me and said, 'Do you know who these people are?'” Mary said in an interview a few years ago about the fateful encounter.

The daughter of a Scottish university professor who emigrated to Australia and the attractive Danish aristocrat fell in love. “It wasn’t just falling in love, but the feeling of having found a soulmate,” Frederik said in retrospect to the newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad.

The two began a long-distance relationship with many mutual visits, which they managed to keep secret for a long time. Their engagement was only officially announced in October 2003. On May 14, 2004, Mary and Frederik were married in Copenhagen – with the full blessing of the Queen, who said in a 2015 interview that she was immediately taken by her daughter-in-law.

➤ Read more here: Dream team on the throne? Denmark's new royal couple, Frederik and Mary

Mary and Frederik have been married for almost 20 years and the couple have four children: the 18-year-old Christianwho was supposed to become king after his father, the 16-year-old Princess Isabel and the twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephinewho turned 13 on Monday.

Popular among people

Mary won the hearts of the Danes like a storm. She impressed the citizens of the small Scandinavian country with how quickly she learned Danish. A survey published in December found that Maria is the most popular member of the Danish royal family, after the Queen and Crown Prince Frederik.

This is partly due to its elegant appearance. Because of her wavy brown hair and fashion sense, Mary is often featured Katethe wife of the British crown prince Williamhas featured and repeatedly adorns the front pages of Danish and international celebrity newspapers.

social commitment

The daughter-in-law is valued by Margarida II but above all for their hard work and their commitment against bullying, domestic violence and social isolation. The 51-year-old is also committed to women's rights and mental health.

“Some people think that my husband is a little in my shadow because I am in the spotlight and have a lot of obligations,” Mary is confidently quoted in a 2017 authorized biography of Crown Prince Frederik. “But he will never be in my shadow, and I will never be in his shadow, because he reflects the light back to me.”

Despite her obligations, Mary regularly travels with her husband and children to her former homeland of Australia – and is also a media darling there.

Mary and Frederik, lovers of pop music, modern art and sports, are considered a modern couple, as is the historian Sebastian Olden-Jörgensen it says. They try to let their four children grow up as normally as possible. They attend public schools, and Prince Christian was the first member of the Danish royal family to attend a kindergarten.

Although the announcement of Queen Margaret's abdication in her New Year's speech came as a surprise to the Danes, it is not a revolutionary event when the 83-year-old passes the baton to her son on Sunday and Mary becomes the new Queen of Denmark .

Compared to Margrethe II, the new King Frederick X and his wife are not a “revolution”, says Olden-Jörgensen. Rather, it's a careful modernization of the Danish monarchy – and Mary seems like exactly the right person for it.