Sunday 14 May 2006

Happy wedding anniversary Mary and Frederik!

The wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donalsdson on May 14, 2004 was the culmination of the romance which began for them following a chance meeting in a Sydney bar during the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Although Frederik has said in a speech that Mary was not subjected to the 'pea test' of Hans Christian Andersen's story The Princess and the Pea, Mary no doubt did 'pass' all sorts of tiny tests of her ability to be not only his wife, but also the crown princess of a nation.

The countdown for the wedding began long before May 14 with Court Chamberlain Ove Ullerup leading the team which prepared for the big event with military precision. Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady/Copenhagen Cathedral) in the centre of the old Copenhagen was chosen for the wedding, indicating some new royal traditions were in the wind.

'Fairytale' wedding

The metereologists predicted bad weather in Copenhagen on Friday May 14, but the dry weather held and later that day the sun even appeared by the time Mary and Frederik began an open carriage ride. The police had closed streets so they were free for the people and for the royal vehicles transporting guests back and forth between Amalienborg and Copenhagen Cathedral.

There was a real party mood in the city of Copenhagen as people arrived early in the morning to get a good vantage point to see the festivities. This great big party seemed more than just a wedding as Denmark's Crown Prince married the young woman from Tasmania, Australia. Just like the day of Frederik's and Mary's engagement, the people had a mixture of Danish and Australian flags which seemed to show this was also a kind of 'marriage' between two countries as well as two people.

Politicians and representatives of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, also from Australia, royalty from all over Europe and family and friends of the couple began arriving and smiling briefly before entering the church.

The groom arrived with his brother Prince Joachim and stood for what seemed a very long half-hour waiting for royal guests, including his mother Queen Margrethe and father Prince Henrik. As he waited, Frederik seemed to finally show emotions which had been kept in check for so long to the point where he even used his handkerchief! The tension was palpable in the final minutes as he waited for Mary's arrival. The music added to the drama and intimacy of the service. After the arrival of the Queen and Prince Henrik the pealing of the church bells announced Mary's arrival but on the other side of the closed doors of the cathedral. The notes of Händel's 'Zadok the Priest' struck up, the great doors were thrown open and Mary, her father John Donaldson and her bridal party made their entrance and walked down the aisle.

When the bride reached the alter Frederik took her hand, kissed her cheek and whispered something in her ear. They exchanged smiles, an intimate glance, they settled themselves before the altar and they were ready.

The ceremony was somehow intimate and personal despite being before all those in the church and a huge television audience throughout Denmark and in Australia.

Mary was composed throughout the ceremony although she and her sisters were affected by the hymn 'Eternal Father' included in the service for her mother. Mary had her mother's wedding ring stitched into the bodice of her wedding dress next to her heart. Frederik seemed more and more relaxed as the ceremony went on. He was a happy looking man as they kissed before walking back down the aisle as husband and wife, then walking through the honour guard together and getting into a horse-drawn coach for an open carriage ride through the streets of Copenhagen and back to Amalienborg.

The carriage ride wound through the narrow streets of Copenhagen with lots of smiling and waving before arrival at Amalienborg. There was fun in the air as seemingly everyone joined in waving at Frederik and Mary and they waved back. Another enduring image is the fantasy-play-day of many little girls dressed as princesses-for-the-day.

When Frederik and Mary reached Amalienborg they made their way upstairs to appear on the balcony for what is quaintly known as 'the balcony scene'. Again, there was more enthusiastic flag waving and many happy kisses between Mary and Frederik, categorically confirming their togetherness at last.

After the balcony scene and official wedding photos at Amalienborg, Mary and Frederik left Copenhagen by car to drive north to Fredensborg for the reception. Frederik and Mary jumped out of the car in the town of Fredensborg for a second carriage ride through the town and then to their arrival at palace to be greeted and kissed by the Queen, Princess Benedikte, Queen Anne-Marie and the rest of the family. Frederik continued to show his softer side at the gala party at Fredensborg Slot when he made a very personal speech to her, when he said "…This moment it’s 'us two', new together, innocent together, in love together. You give me calm and happiness. I love you, Mary" and it was finally Mary’s turn to shed some tears.

They danced the traditional wedding waltz before midnight as custom dictates and then partied before departing for their honeymoon around 2am. Prince Joachim led the effort to decorate the car. The destination of the honeymoon is still a secret. When questioned Frederik answered that it was a place "in the tropic of Cancer", a wonderful place, where he and Mary might return someday, and so he had no intention to disclose it.

It had been a great day with, um, well, love in the air in times when that is not a very common experience. Here's to many happy years for Frederik and Mary.

Lots of links:
Official wedding information 'Crown Prince & Crown Princess Mary' 'Focus on Crown Prince & Crown Princess' - follow the links to the various items on the left 'The Royal Wedding'
Uffe Frank designer of the wedding dress
Music for the Royal Wedding in Copenhagen Cathedral
Didgeridoo Orchestra at Denmark's Royal Wedding
Prince Henrik's speech at the reception
Queen Margrethe's speech at the reception
Pandora Collection, the National Library of Australia's online wedding archive
The Copenhagen Post 'Royal couple reveals romantic secrets' (a report based on the ABC TV Enough Rope/Andrew Denton program)
Hello! magazine online wedding stories
Frederik and Mary commemorative stamps
BBC photo gallery
Australian Prime Minister's congratulations
Russia's Pravda wedding report
The Sydney Morning Herald 'Homegrown royal new jewel in the crown'
The Sydney Morning Herald 'All tears and kisses for our Mary Glucksborg' (Actually a deceptive headline, Mary doesn't have a surname, the Royal House has a name but that is not a surname for the family. Mary is Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark.)
The Sydney Morning Herald 'The dashing prince and the girl next door'
The Sydney Morning Herald 'Millions around the world tune in for live coverage'
The Sydney Morning Herald 'Mary leads the wave'
The Sydney Morning Herald 'So beautiful in satin and lace'
SMH photo gallery online Norwegian multimedia - click on 'Galleri' to see photo galleries wedding coverage you can follow the links here under the picture of Frederik and Mary and watch the wedding. It is from DR1/Danish public broadcaster and has Danish commentary. After clicking on the link, click on 'Klik her for å åpne NRK Nett-TV' ( a fast connection will help)
American in Denmark: Moron Abroad a funny account of the wedding day

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy 2nd wedding anniversary Mary and Frederik!. Love and Best Wishes

2:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great posting, once again! Fabulous fairytale wedding, lucky, lucky Denmark!

But one thing puzzles me.. I did read from somewhere (unfortunately cannot remember the source) that Crown Princess Pavlos of Greece (a.k.a. Marie-Chantal Miller) made some "faces" and frowns when Mary walked down the aisle. Some ppl said that she (M-C) was jealous and felt envy for Mary, since she would eventually be queen while M-C most likely will not. I wonder if you know about this..?

It is said that M-C is in close terms with Mette-Marit, but maybe I am correct if I assume that she is not in best of terms with HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark..?

3:30 pm  
Blogger Kae said...

As I read this after their 4th anniversary. . .
Thank you for taking the time to post these many beautiful pictures and also the links for those of us who weren't even aware of this wedding at the time it occurred. I had no idea how many pre-wedding events there were.

It was great to be able to find this link and your blog summarizing that wonderful pre-wedding month as well as the fabulous wedding. (5/27/08)

8:30 pm  

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