Photo by Steen Evald
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Countess Monpezat, was born on 5 February 1972, in Hobart, Tasmania. Formerly Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, she was educated at the Sandy Bay Infant School; Waimea Heights Primary School; Taroona High School; and Hobart Matriculation College. In 1994, she graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor degree in Commerce and Law (B Com. LLB).
After graduating, Mary's career included Account Manager with the advertising agencies DDB Needham and MOJO Partners, in Melbourne; and Rapp Collins Worldwide, of Edinburgh. Following this Mary was Account Director of international advertising agency, Young and Rubicam; and Sales Director with Belle Property, both in Sydney.
In 2002, Mary taught English at a business English school in Paris before moving to Denmark where she was employed by Microsoft Business Solutions as a Project Consultant for business development, communications and marketing.
On 14 May 2004, Mary married His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, and she became Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark. The couple have four children:
- HRH Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John, born on 15 October 2005;
- HRH Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe, born on 21 April 2007; and
- twins HRH Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander and HRH Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda, born on 8 January 2011.
HRH Crown Princess Mary's patronages range across areas of culture, fashion, humanitarian aid, support for research and science, social programs, education, health and sport. They include:
- Patron of LOKK, a Danish umbrella organisation for women's shelters;
- Patron of the United Nations Population Fund, to support the agency's work to promote maternal health and safer motherhood in more than 150 developing nations;
- International Patron of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, a national charity protecting children from violence and its devastating impact named after Alannah and Madeline Mikac, aged six and three, who were tragically killed with their mother and 32 others at Port Arthur, Tasmania on 28 April 1996;
- Honorary Life Governor of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute based at the Garvan Institute/St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney; and
- a member of the International Committee of Women Leaders for Mental Health.
HRH Crown Princess Mary is currently involved in supporting anti-obesity programs through the World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, and is a member of various sporting clubs (riding, golf and yachting). HRH Crown Princess Mary also lends her support to a number of other 'one-off' Danish causes, industry events and international conferences.
On 11 September 2007, HRH Crown Princess Mary announced the establishment of the Mary Foundation at the inaugural meeting at Amalienborg Palace. The Mary Foundation aims to improve lives compromised by environment, heredity, illness or other circumstances which can socially isolate or exclude people.
In 2011, the Westmead Cancer Centre at Westmead Hospital in Sydney was renamed the Crown Princess Mary Cancer Care Centre Westmead.
As a wedding gift to the Royal couple, the University of Copenhagen established the Crown Princess Mary Scholarship. Each year the university invites the Australian partner universities to nominate a student for the scholarship to study in Denmark. The University of Tasmania is one of the partner universities and provides the annual Crown Princess Mary Scholarship for a student to study in Denmark, and for a Danish student to study in Tasmania.
HRH Crown Princess Mary was the Honorary Patron of the University of Tasmania's 125th Anniversary celebrations in 2015.