King Frederik and Queen Mary’s love story: From a Sydney pub to the throne

Even though they were born on different continents, destiny conspired in order to make sure that King Frederik met Queen Mary. Ever since their chance meeting in 2000, the couple have gone from strength to strength and now helm the Danish royal family following the abdication of Frederik’s mother, Queen Margrethe.

The couple marked their 20th anniversary on Tuesday and we thought we would take a look at the pair’s best moments through the years. So, chart the couple’s first meeting in 2000 to their engagement and fairytale wedding to the arrival of their four children: Crown Prince Christian, Princess Isabella and twins Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent.

The beginning – 2000

Queen walking with King Frederik in Australia© Regis Martin
Frederik met his wife in her native country

The couple’s love story began at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The then 32-year-old Prince met Tasmanian-born Mary at the Slip Inn in the host city, but kept his royal identity secret from his future bride, only introducing himself as Fred. Mary admitted in 2003: “The first time that we met or shook hands, I did not know he was the crown prince of Denmark. It was perhaps half an hour or so later that someone came up to me and said, ‘Do you know who these people are?’”

The duo exhanged numbers following their meeting and began dating long-distance.

Going official – 2001

King Frederik and Queen Mary watching tennis© Nick Laham
The couple were long-distance for several years

Due to the long-distance nature of their relationship, the courting pair were able to keep their romance out of the spotlight. However, in 2001, a Danish tabloid revealed that the pair were an item.

More on the Danish royals

Mary moves to Denmark – 2002

Queen Mary walking through an airport© Patrick Riviere
Mary moved to Denmark early into her relationship with Frederik

After months of letters and long distance phone calls, Mary decided to move from Australia to Denmark to be with her love in 2002. The future queen of Denmark did more than just move to the European nation, but she also began learning the language and converted to the Lutheran Church. The Church has strong links to the monarchy and the Head of State has to, by law, be a member.

Royal engagement – 2003

Queen Mary showing her engagement ring with King Frederik holding her hand© Scott Barbour
Frederik was proud to show off his wife-to-be’s ring

On September 24, 2003, the Danish court announced that Queen Margrethe intended to give her consent to the marriage at an upcoming State Council meeting. On October 8, 2003 the couple became officially engaged. Frederik presented Mary with a stunning engagement ring featuring a large emerald-cut diamond and two emerald-cut rubies, a nod to Denmark’s national flag. Following her acceptance of the proposal, the happy pair announced the news to the world’s media during a press conference at Amalienborg palace.

Fairytale wedding – 2004

King Frederik kissing Queen Mary on the cheeck while Queen Margrethe looks on© Ian Waldie
The pair married in 2004

Pomp, royalty and very human emotion mingled on their wedding day at Copenhagen Cathedral on 14 May 2004. Even before his bride arrived, Frederik was seen wiping away a tear. On the way down the aisle, the newlyweds spontaneously paused to kiss – a gesture they repeated on the Palace balcony, with Frederik’s delighted mother the Queen looking on.

Mary looked absolutely beautiful in a boatneck ivory gown that was created by Danish designer Uffe Frank. She paid tribute to both her Australian heritage and her new Danish identity, carrying eucalyptus in her wedding bouquet and wearing a tiara that was gifted to her by her royal in-laws.

Return to Australia – 2005

Queen Mary and King Frederik in Australia© AFP POOL
Frederik and Mary regularly visit Australia

The couple shared a special moment at a gala in March 2005 in Mary’s home state of Tasmania. It was Mary’s first visit to Australia since her wedding to the Danish heir to the throne. However, 2005 would become extra special for the couple for a very different reason…

Arrival of Prince Christian – 2005

Queen Mary holding Prince Christian while King Frederik sings to him during a christening© SVEN NACKSTRAND
The pair welcomed their first son in 2005

Frederik and Mary became parents for the first time on 15 October 2005 with the arrival of Crown Prince Christian, by Danish custom Christian was chosen as the baby prince’s name as male names of the monarch alternate between Frederik and Christian. The young prince’s name also had a tribute to his mother, as his middle name is ‘John’, the same as Mary’s father.

Princess Isabella makes two

Queen Mary holding Princess Isabella and King Frederik holding Prince Christian© Niels Henrik Dam
Isabella is the pair’s second child

Frederik and Mary became parents once again on 21 April 2007 following the arrival of their eldest daughter, Princess Isabella. The young royal was given three middle names: Henrietta, Ingrid and Margrethe. The first of these is a tribute to Mary’s late mother, who died in 1997, while Ingrid and Margrethe pay tribute to Frederik’s grandmother and mother respectively.

Twin children – 2011

Queen Mary and King Frederik holding their twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine© Pascal Le Segretain
The couple welcomed twins in 2011

On 8 January 2011, the couple doubled the size of their family with the birth of twins Vincent and Josephine. The prince described their arrival as a “miracle times two”. Vincent is the older of the pair, arriving around 11 minutes ahead of his twin sister. Josephine had a unique christening later in the year, with the parents opting for a dual service, this meant that the young royal didn’t wear the traditional christening gown that Danish royals do.

A royal dance – 2011

Queen Mary and King Frederik dancing© Thos Robinson
The couple enjoyed a romantic dance in 2011

During a trip to New York in 2011, Frederik was more than happy to share a dance with his beloved wife.

Family ski trips – 2015

King Frederik and Queen Mary on a ski trip with Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent© Harold Cunningham
The family regularly enjoy skiing holidays

Each year the family enjoys a ski trip to the restort of Verbier in Switzerland. Giving an insight into family life a few years ago, Mary revealed they have no help with bedtime, dealing with the little ones in the night or getting them off to school in the mornings.

Olympic dates – 2016

Queen Mary and King Frederik standing with Thomas and Claudia Bach at an Olympic event© PASCAL LE SEGRETAIN
The pair were regularly seen at Olympic events

The royal couple frequently visit the Olympic Games, where their love first started. Frederik even had a role on the International Olympic Committee, although he resigned from this role in 2020.

Royal duties – 2019

Queen Mary and King frederik with a Korean man and woman© Woohae Cho
The couple have always been on top of their royal duties

The couple regularly headed out on royal visits and state trips, including this one from 2019 that saw the pair in South Korea.

King and Queen of Denmark – 2024

King Frederik kissing Queen Mary© Patrick van Katwijk
The couple shared a loving kiss at the coronation

In her New Year’s Address, Queen Margrethe announced her intention to abdicate, with Frederik succeeding his mother on 14 January 2024. With his wife, Queen Mary, by his side the couple look set to steer the Danish monarchy in the decades to come.

RELATED: Queen Mary shares heartwarming photos of daughter Princess Isabella to mark special day

PHOTOS: Queen Mary and King Frederik pictured together to celebrate family occasion


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