Wednesday 23 May 2007

Mary's new coat of arms

Ronny Andersen's Coat of Arms designed for Mary, now hanging in Frederiksborg Palace Chapel.

From Billed Bladet (no. 20, 18 May 2007) comes news and information about the new coats of arms which have been designed and executed by Ronny Andersen to represent Crown Princess Mary and her father Professor John Donaldson. They each have the coats of arms because all holders of Danish Royal Orders require coats of arms for display in Frederiksborg Castle Chapel. Five days before her marriage Mary received the highest Danish order, the Order of the Elephant, and, her father John Dalgleish Donaldson was given the Order of the Dannebrog. The crests are now displayed with the crests of all other holders of the orders in the Frederiksborg Castle Chapel (part of the Museum of National History). In 1693 Christian V converted the church into a Knights’ Chapel for the two Danish orders: the Order of the Elephant and the Order of the Dannebrog. The shields bearing the coats of arms of holders of the two orders hang on the interior walls of the gallery of the Chapel and on the walls of the spiral staircase towers.

Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg's crest has now been moved from the royal section to the section of non-royal holders of the Order of the Elephant. Alexandra's father's crest (like John Donaldson he received the Order of the Dannebrog upon Alexandra's marriage to Prince Joachim) is in the section for holders of the Order of the Dannebrog, as is John Donaldson's. When Frederik becomes king one day, Christian, the new little princess and any other children of Frederik and Mary will have their crests added. It will be interesting to see if the children have elements from their mother's side (Australia and Scotland).

From Billed Bladet by Anna Johannesen and kindly translated by MuhlerHere is Mary’s crest:

“It’s about the greatest achievement you can aspire to,” says the 27-year-old Ronny Andersen proudly, while he looks up at the Knights Chapel (Ridderkapellet) at Frederiksborg Palace. Here Crown Princess Mary’s crest has just been hung and Ronny is looking forward to seeing it in place because he designed it, just as he is also the master maker of the crest given to her father. The two crests are Ronny Andersen’s debut as a royal painter of coats of arms and he has worked on them for a year and a half. During that time the sketches have been presented for both Crown Princess Mary and John Donaldson in Kancellihuset and at Århus University.

“We thoroughly discussed how the crests should be designed. The Donaldson family has its roots in Scotland and as that is a country with particularly strong heraldic traditions and with strict rules in that field, everything had to be in perfect order,” says Ronny Andersen, who lives and works in Esbjerg.

Crown Princess Mary received the Order if the Elephant on 9 May 2004, five days prior to her wedding to Crown Prince Frederik, and on the same day her father became knight of the Great Cross of the Order of Dannebrog. That means that in accordance with the regulations of royal orders of knights that they must have a crest with their coat of arms and a proverb hanging on the wall in the chapel of the royal orders in Frederiksborg's Palace Chapel. Crown Princess Mary’s crest is historical because no crest belonging to a Danish crown princess has been hung there previously, and it does not have a proverb either.

The writing on the edges of the crests in the Knights Chapel is traditionally in Latin, but as the title “crown princess” does not translate directly to Latin and as there is no precedence among the existing crests, the text ended up being: Mary, Princess of Denmark, the wife of the Crown Prince. (Written in Latin naturally: Mary Principissa Daniae Regni Heredis Conjux Die IX Maji an MMIV.)

During the work on Mary's and her father’s crests, the wish had been that their coat of arms should be as close to what it would have been in Scotland, but that they also contain some very personal elements from the Donaldson clan. That John Donaldson associates himself with the MacDonald clan was clear at the wedding of the Crown Prince Couple, where he wore the kilt of the MacDonald clan and in his speech to the bridal couple at the dinner in the evening, he also referred to the history of the clan (link to John Donaldson's speech).

There is a red double eagle, over which there is a black galley with oars and a silver flag on both crests, but where Mary's has a gold rose between two seven pointed gold stars in the blue part of the shield at the top, her father's has the mathematical sign for infinity. This is a reference to his work as a mathematician and it has the proverb “Ad Infinitium” which means “Towards Infinity”.

Ronny Andersen has painted Mary’s as an alliance crest, joined with the crest of the Crown Prince. There is a tradition for this type of crest in regard to women who have married into the DRF. The coat of arms is crowned with the special crown prince crown specified by Christian V in 1693.

Crown Princess Mary’s crest is hanging between the crests of the Crown Prince and Prince Joachim. They each got theirs on the 14 February 1972 on the day their mother was proclaimed Oueen of Denmark. Above theirs hangs the crest of Prince Henrik and on top the crest of Queen Margrethe.

Explanation of Frederik's Coat of Arms (with meanings of symbols)
The Coat of Arms from The Danish Monarchy site, and also
The Royal Orders of Chivalry

1) Mary's Coat of Arms 2) John Donaldson's Coat of Arms, 3) John Donaldson's crest 4) the royal crests as they hang in Frederiksborg Castle Chapel, Queen Margrethe at top, Prince Henrik middle, Frederik, Mary and Joachim bottom.

And from Heraldry Australia comes their explanation of the two coats of arms (with thanks):

The Donaldson family is Australian of recent Scottish origin and it was decided to design the arms as closely as possible to Scottish heraldic tradition, while including symbols of a personal nature and references to Australia. Professor Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard undertook the research into the Scottish background, and based upon this he made several suggestions for the design of the arms. Ronny Andersen, Kongelig våbenmaler (Royal Shield Painter), then made suggestions to the Crown Princess and Professor Donaldson and their personal preferences were taken into account.
The basic design was the MacDonald eagle and boat for the Scottish ancestry and, in the chief, two seven pointed Federation Stars from the Crest from the Australian arms. More personal symbols were incorporated into the chief with Professor Donaldson choosing the infinity symbol as representative of his career as a mathematician (it corresponds with his motto as well) and with The Crown princess choosing the rose as her personal symbol. The red lion in Professor Donaldson's crest is derived from the Scottish red lion and also the red lion in the arms of Tasmania and Hobart.HA

Frederiksborg Castle Chapel and Frederiksborg Castle (scoll down):

1) Australian Coat of Arms 2) Tasmanian Coat of Arms 3) Hobart Coat of Arms.

TV Syd about heraldic artist Ronny Andersen - 'Maler våbenskjold'
TV Syd video clip (4:02) about 27-year-old Ronny Andersen's work
ARS HERALDICA Danish Heraldry
Heraldry Australia
Meanings Behind the Symbols (you might like to look up the two-headed eagle, the boat, the meaning of the extended wings, the meaning of the rose...)

A note: Frederiksborg Castle Church is where Joachim and Alexandra were married (18 November 1995) and where Baron Otto Reedtz-Thott and his wife Helle married on 24 August 2002. Frederik and Mary made one of their first public appearances together at the wedding, a formal event which royal watchers thought 'significant' at the time.

Also, Jane Stephens told Anna Johanessen in Hobart in November 2006 that the rose was their mother's favourite flower and Mary's also. Mary's sisters Jane and Patricia, with other family members present, launched an Australian rose named after Mary which has part of its sale price donated to the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Heart Foundation.

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