We love discussing Chance Royal Meetings! We last spoke about how Princess Grace and Prince Rainier met during the 1955 Cannes Festival and our next two Chance Royal Meetings took place at another big event, the Olympic Games. Let’s start with Prince Frederick of Denmark and Mary Donaldson.
Mary Donaldson, then a 28 year old account director for DDB Needham, went out to meet friends at the Slip Inn pub in Sydney on September 16, 2000 and ended up meeting Prince Frederick of Denmark who was in town for the Games. At that point, she just knew him as “Fred” and had no idea she was sitting next to a European prince.
Prince Frederik was smitten from the start. He later said, “I really felt that she was a soul mate. I was drawn to Mary on all fronts. It was fantastic.” Of their first meetings Mary remembered, “He never really told me that much about his other life in the beginning. It was more about who we were and what we were about. It wasn’t about him living in a place with high ceilings or anything.”
Here’s the Slip Inn in Sydney:
After over a year of long distance dating, Mary moved to Paris in December 2001 to be closer to the Prince. Here’s a snapshot of the couple in the early years:
Prince Frederick and Mary officially announced their engagement on October 8, 2003. Fun fact: Mary and Frederick are sitting on the same sofa here that Frederick’s parents Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe used when they announced their engagement. Frederick’s brother Prince Joachim also sat on this sofa when he announced his engagement to Alexandra Manley (his now ex-wife).
The married on May 14, 2004 in a lavish ceremony at Copenhagen Cathedral in front of 682 guests. We love Mary’s dress! And just think, all this because she showed up at the pub.
They now have four children and are a fun couple to watch. Here they are having a day out in the park with their two eldest children Prince Christian (the future King of Denmark) and Princess Isabella:
Join us tomorrow to see how a King met his Queen at the Olympics. See you then!