Mary Elizabeth Donaldson was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia on the 5th of February 1972 as the youngest daughter of Scottish parents Henrietta Clark and John Dalgleish Donaldson (of the Clan MacDonald). Her parents emigrated to Australia in the early 1960es, but the family moved around quite a lot, and for a time they lived in the United States as her father worked for NASA.
She graduated in 1994 from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor degree in commerce and law. After university she moved to Melbourne and began working in advertising and soon her career brought her around the world and to very different jobs, from real estate to teaching English at a Paris business school.
In 2000 she was working in Sydney, and during the Olympics she met HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark at a social function at the Slip Inn Bar. The Crown Prince was there accompanying the Danish Olympic sailing team. Unaware of his royal heritage, the two instantly hit it off and about half a year later rumours began to fly in Denmark about a secret Australian romantic love affair.
The young couple hid from the nosy press and met in secret whenever they were able, and for a long time no one even knew her name or face, and though tabloids offered large rewards no photographer could catch the couple together. But the people still knew. And the people knew that all the secrecy also meant that this time it was serious.
Thus, it was a happy occasion, but no surprise, when Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, the prince's mother, announced the royal engagement of her son to Mary Donaldson in autumn 2003.
At this time, miss Donaldson had been in Denmark for some time, and she had begun her training to become princess. She learned the important etiquette, and of Danish history and current affairs, and she learned Danish that she may address her future subjects in Danish when she was presented to them, which she did. She appeared intelligent, charming and thoughtful and the Danes took her into their hearts.
On the 14th of May 2004 she married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and was no longer miss Mary Donaldson but Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark. The beautiful royal wedding took place in the Cathedral of Copenhagen, Vor Frue Kirke (“The Church of Our Lady”) and it was the culmination of a week-long celebration that has no equal in recent Danish history.
And that was this modern day fairy tale, thus far.