Married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in 2004.
Children: Prince Christian, five, Princess Isabella, three, and twins aged nine weeks
Given Denmark’s notoriously strict immigration rules, Crown Prince Frederik could have made life easier for himself by not falling in love with an Australian advertising executive turned estate agent, who he met in a pub in Sydney. Danish law was accordingly tweaked to allow Mary Donaldson, the youngest of four children of Professor John Donaldson, Scottish-born former Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Tasmania, to become Crown Princess of one of the world’s oldest monarchies. Herself now a mother of four, Mary will become Europe’s first Australian queen.
Unassuming and, it is rumoured, less confident than she appears, Mary, 39, has endeared herself to the Danish public. She has also embraced royal life with grace – and learnt a new language. The couple’s two official residences have been restored for modern family living at a reported cost of more than £30 million to the Danish taxpayer.
Embarrassing momentsMary probably hoped to keep secret an operation to remove a gallstone in October 2004, five months after her marriage. Speculation that she was pregnant outed the less glamorous explanation.