Crown Princess Mary has been in the news quite a bit lately, what with her and Prince Frederik’s joint visit to the Unicef Relief Centre in Copenhagen with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and her recent trip to East Africa.
We’ve recounted how she and the prince first met during the Sydney Olympics, so it’s about time we talked about her engagement ring and got to know her a bit better. We’ve unearthed an extensive interview with Mary Donaldson that was published shortly before the couple’s wedding. It certainly gives a lot of insight into Mary’s personality.
First things first – let’s begin with the ring itself! Prince Frederik proposed in 2003 and presented Mary with this beauty:
The ring has a centre emerald cut diamond flanked by two ruby baguettes. The only other ruby engagement ring we have discussed so far is that of Sarah Ferguson. Mary’s ring is a more modern way to incorporate rubies.
Why the rubies, you may ask? Prince Frederik chose these stones to symbolize the red and white colours of the Danish flag. This was a nice gesture since Crown Princess Mary was moving from Australia and adopting Denmark as her new home. She actually gave up her Australian citizenship to become a Dane prior to the wedding.
In another symbolic gesture, during their engagement interview on October 8, 2003, Mary Donaldson and Crown Prince Frederick sat on the same gilded sofa that his parents Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe II sat on for their engagement interview in 1967. Prince Frederik’s brother Prince Joachim also sat on the same sofa for his engagement interview with the future Princess Alexandra in 1995 (she is now his ex-wife and goes by the title Countess of Frederiksborg).
On May 9, 2003, just days before their May 14th wedding, a five page article was published in the Danish newspaper Politiken. The interview was conducted by a journalist that goes simply by the name of Ninka and she interviewed Mary in 7 stages that in total took a reported 25 hours. That is staggering! In the interview, Mary spoke about a wide spectrum of topics. Here are some of the highlights.
Of her first meeting with Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik she said, “It had to go well. Protocol is something quite new to me. It isn’t something you normally experience in Australia…Had the meeting been negative I have no idea what would have happened. But I don’t think I would ever have asked Frederik to abdicate. He knows his role in life. He feels obligated to it and I think — no, I know — it would demand too much of him to give it up.” Notably, the first meeting took place in April of 2002, almost two years into her romance with Prince Frederik.
Mary also had some interesting words to say about her adopted home. She told Ninka, “The associations I get by hearing the word ‘Denmark’ is: “My new home!” When I sit by the window and look out and enjoy the view, then it’s “My new home”. It’s a lovely thought. There’s the “light” too. People say that throughout the winter it’s so dark and grey. But I think about the many different types of lights. Th light. And then I think about the whole country as my new home… My new colours. My new light.” Rather poetic, no? All the better that Prince Frederik chose that ruby and diamond ring!
About her first appearance at the balcony at Amalienborg Mary shared her feelings (the picture above captures the moment). She said, “When we stood in front of the doors, I tried to relax and take a few deep breaths. I had a feeling I couldn’t go out there . . . it was just so overwhelming. People cheered the Queen, Prince Henrik and Frederik and then also me, because he has chosen me and we have chosen each other.”
We love this shot of the balcony appearance. And what a great outfit she chose for this appearance.
Of Prince Frederik she said, “He has a warm, warm heart, he is loyal and honest.” She also spoke about the engagement itself and sounds very honest and real. She said, “It was like: Is this real? The day when Frederik proposed to me privately, it was very real, it was completly ‘normal’… if you experience a situation like that as normal at all. So, you might say it was like a dream, but it wasn’t as close to a dreamlike situation, as the official day of the betrothal was because on that day, I thought, “Oh, my God, is this happening in real life?” Then I had to ask myself: Is this a dream?” No doubt Kate could relate to those sentiments!
The couple now have four children. In order of age they are Prince Christian (the future King of Denmark!), Princess Isabella, and twins named Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.
Check out Mary’s wedding dress here. Would love to hear your thoughts on Mary’s engagement ring and pre-wedding interview in the comments!