Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, first met Mary Donaldson on 16 September 2000 during the Olympic Games in Sydney, although she claims to have had no idea as to his real identity. After three years of dating, Frederik formally requested permission to marry his Australian girlfriend and the engagement was announced on 8 October 2003. Prior to the wedding, Mary moved to Denmark where she was granted Danish citizenship and converted to the Lutheran Church of Denmark.
The wedding took place on 14 May 2004 in the Copenhagen Cathedral and was followed by a reception at the Fredensborg Palace. Upon her marriage, Mary became Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, and will be the first Australian to become a queen consort.
Mary’s dress was designed by Danish designer Uffe Frank and was of ivory duchess satin lined with silk organza. The full skirt opened to reveal a panel of antique Irish lace that had been given to Margaret of Connaught as a wedding gift and has since featured in the wedding gowns of her descendants. The back of the dress was gathered with tulle and Chantilly lace, while the 31 metre train was specially made to be detachable so it could be removed for the reception. Mary also paid tribute to her late mother by having her wedding ring sewn into the bodice of her dress, close to her heart.
Mary also wore the Irish lace veil first used in 1905 at the wedding of Margaret of Connaught to Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden which was brought to Denmark by Margaret’s daughter, Ingrid. However, instead of wearing the Khedive tiara, Mary wore a diamond tiara which was given to her as a wedding gift by Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik.
The bridal bouquet consisted of white roses, stephanotis, rhododendrons, azaleas and myrtle from Fredensborg Palace, and spirea from Graasten Palace, with a trail of snow gum, an Australian eucalyptus. After the wedding, Mary’s bouquet was taken to Scotland and laid at her mother’s grave.
The wedding banquet was held in a massive tent on the grounds of Fredensborg Palace where guests dined on a menu of predominantly French cuisine. The wedding cake was 10 tiers, some with almond and others with chocolate, covered in white marzipan with pink roses and the couple’s monogram in chocolate. In a break from tradition, the cake was topped with cartoon figures of the couple.
Later, the couple made their way into the Dome Hall for the bridal waltz which traditionally takes place just before midnight. The newlyweds were surrounded by their guests who formed a heart-shaped group around them.