The pre-wedding activities of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson

Wedding program

Wednesday, 5 May 2004

  • 10:00 – The Day of the Danish Defence

Friday, 7 May 2004

  • 19:00 – Concert “Rock’n Royal”

Sunday, 9 May 2004

  • 12.00 – Match race in Copenhagen harbour

Tuesday, 11 May 2004

  • 19:00 – Dinner at Christiansborg Palace

Wednesday, 12 May 2004

  • 12:00 – Reception at Copenhagen City Hall

Thursday, 13 May 2004

  • 10:55 – Reception in the Folketing (Parliament) 19:00 – Gala Performance at the Royal Theatre

Dinner at Christiansborg, 11 May 2004

Flower decoration

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, together with flowerist Bjarne Als, Bering House of Flowers, has taken care of the flower decoration at Christiansborg Palace.

The vases at the King’s stairs were decorated with a 1,5 metre high decoration of Rodondendrons in pink, rose and white colours. The vase at the middle window and two side tables at the entrance of the Knight’s Hall were decorated with blooming lilacs in light and darklilac colours. The tables in the Knight’s Hall were decorated with white and yellow colours with the smell of Danish spring and early summer. The yellow colours were in the same colour as the walls. Decorations were at the same height and made to create life in the big hall.

The flower decoration existed of: Solomon’s Seal, Lily of the Valley, Spirea, Trollius europaues (ranunculus family), Peonies, Poet’s narcissus, Lathyrus, Yellow Sphinx roses and Beech branches.


Quail ballotine
Quail’s Egg in Cabbage Salad
Poached Saint Peter’s Fish
Fennel in blanquette bisque
Well-baked fillet of beef
Filled artichoke
New Samsø Potatoes
Shallots in Crunchy Dough
Mustard Sauce with Tarragon
Saint André Cake
La Cigaralle du Prince 1999
Cuvee Speciale du Mariage Cahors
Champagne Pol Roger
Cuvee Frederik & Mary


Den Kongelige Livgardes Musikkorps played during the evening.

Fuzzy – Crown Prince Frederik’s Honnørmarch
C.F.E. Hornemann – Ouverture from “Aladdin”
E. Waldteufel – Très Jolie, waltz
P. Grainger – Faeroe Island Dance
H.C. Lumbye – Crown Prince Frederik’s Polka
arr. S. Sønderriis – Australian potpourri
B. Andersson – “You and I” from “Chess”
G. Harrison – Here comes the sun
H.C. Lumbye – Crown Prince Frederik’s Galop


Present were members of the Danish government and other politicians, members of the royal court and other people. Also present were members of both the Danish royal family and the Donaldson family

  • Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark
  • Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Elizabeth Donaldson
  • Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra of Denmark
  • King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
  • Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Princess Elisabeth of Denmark
  • Professor John Donaldson and Mrs. Susan Elizabeth Donaldson
  • Mr. Craig Stephens and Mrs. Jane Stephens née Donaldson
  • Mr. Scott Bailey and Mrs.Patricia Bailey née Donaldson
  • Mr. John Stuart Donaldson and Mrs. Leanne Donaldson
The speech by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Miss Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

“Once upon a time there was a Prince”. This is how the great Danish poet, Hans Christian Andersen, began many of his fairy tales.

And there is no doubt that we are experiencing a fairy tale at the moment; but also a reality; a fairy-tale reality. In his story about the Princess and the pea, Hans Christian Andersen tells how the Princess slept in a bed with twenty mattresses and twenty eider-downs, under which a small pea was placed.

In the morning, the Princess awoke black and blue, and the Prince then took the girl as his wife, for now he knew she was a true Princess; since only a true Princess could be that sensitive.

Dear Miss Donaldson,
I don’t know if the Crown Prince has exposed you to the pea test, but if he had, he would have reached a conclusion in direct contradiction to the moral of the story. For the Crown Prince is a thoughtful man. And he knows that nowadays, a true Princess must definitely not be so thin skinned. On the contrary, the modern Princess must be somewhat thick skinned.

The current events must be overwhelming for you. You have come to Denmark out of love for another human being; your love for Crown Prince Frederik. And now you see yourself as the centre of official events; your life has become subject to intense public interest.

Coping with this demands strength and resilience; both qualities I am convinced you possess.

You are a woman with a special radiance, bound in considerable human and intellectual qualities. I have no doubt that you possess whatever is needed to fill and leave your mark on the role you are to take on for our country; the role of a real Princess of our times.

Dear Miss Donaldson,
You have already taken the Danish people by storm. The whole nation bids you welcome as the future wife of the Crown Prince.

You are coming to a country with a history of several thousand years. You are coming to a country which has a strong national identity and a deep awareness of the Danish language, culture, and traditions. But you are also coming to a people who are outgoing, and open to impulses from the outside. Denmark has developed in this way over the centuries, a friendly cohesion between that which is Danish and that which is foreign.

For more than a thousand years, the Monarchy has been a uniting symbol for the Danish people. I am convinced that you will make a great contribution to ensuring that the Monarchy continues as a national and uniting institution, linking the past with the present and the future.

Our Danish forefathers, the Vikings, travelled widely, but not quite as far as Tasmania.

And yet! A Dane, the explorer and adventurer Jørgen Jürgensen, took part in the foundation 200 years ago of Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. He became known as “the Viking from Van Diemen’s Land”, as Tasmania was known at the time.

Jürgensen was a very colourful person – and probably quite a rogue. Amongst other things he managed to proclaim himself King of Iceland for some weeks in 1809.

This early link between Denmark and Tasmania reflects the turbulent and harsh foundation of Australian society.

Today we know Australia as a country with unique animal and plant life and a friendly and open people. Over the years, thousands of young Danes have backpacked across Australia. They have been greeted with exciting experiences and Australian hospitality.

Dear Miss Donaldson, we will do our utmost to see that you also feel welcome and at home in our country.

Your Royal Highness, dear Crown Prince Frederik,
When Hobart, the capital of Tasmania was founded in 1804, the Crown Prince of Denmark was also called Frederik. And his wife’s name was Marie. Later, the Crown Prince became King Frederik the sixth – with Queen Marie at his side.

It is a strange and wonderful thing how the lines of history can meander and become entwined.

Now, as Crown Prince, you and your future wife must carry the historical line forward into a new time.

It is hard for me to imagine anyone better equipped for the job than yourself. We know that you have challenged the extreme limits of physical endurance by completing the toughest military training, by travelling 3,000 kilometres by dog sled across Greenland, and by taking part in demanding sports.

You have successfully completed an academic education in political science in Denmark, supplemented by studies at Harvard University.

But most importantly of all, you have demonstrated very positive human qualities. An exceptional ability to talk with other people, listen, and relate to their situation.

You have already managed to set a new framework and limits for a modern Crown Prince. You have done this in your own way and earned widespread respect, not least amongst the younger generation.

Dear Crown Prince Frederik, you are an example for many, and a book of interviews with you rightly carries the title “A Crown Prince of our Times”.

In this book you describe how a Monarchy is to survive in the future. You emphasise the importance of keeping up with what is going on. And you summarise this philosophy in the following way: “Keep your ear to the ground, your foot in the water, and an eye to the sky.”

Doing all these things at the same time can be a little tricky, and most of all it reflects your military training with the Navy, Army, and Air Force.

But in the end, you have hit upon the truth with your metaphor. The job is just as difficult as you describe it.

In a modern democratic society, the Monarchy rests on the support of the people. The Monarchy must simultaneously reflect society and set a good example for the people.

Appearing as the man with his feet on the ground and one with whom the people can identify, while at the same time rising above the commonplace to present a person for society to look up to is a difficult balancing act.

Dear Crown Prince Frederik, I am convinced that you master this balancing act. You are a superb representative for the Monarchy and for your generation. You have made a great contribution to ensuring that the Danish Monarchy remain a national rallying point for the generations to come.

Your Royal Highness, the first time I met you and Miss Donaldson together was on an aeroplane from Paris – before your relationship had been officially announced. It is typical of your straightforwardness that you introduced me to Miss Donaldson with the words: “This is my girl-friend, Mary”.

Dear Bride and Groom to come,
A wise woman – Her Majesty the Queen – once said that marriage is composed of “you, me, and us”. I agree. Marriage is a partnership – us – where we accommodate each other, show consideration for each other, and share life’s experiences with each other.

But marriage is also you and me, where there is freedom and space for both you and me. For neither of us can flourish in each other’s shadow.

In his book “The Prophet”, Kahlil Gibran writes, inter alia, the following about marriage:

“Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”[1]

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, allow me to drop formality and say: Dear Frederik, dear Mary,
According to the indigenous Australians, the Aborigines, all living things on Earth were created in the “Dreamtime”. Allow me to wish you both a “Dreamtime” for you to create a life together.

We extend to you our heartfelt congratulations on your forthcoming wedding.

May I now ask all of you to rise and join me in a three-fold toast to the happy couple.

[1] Here quoted from Johannes Møllehave, “Så forskellige sind”, published 1978 by Lindhardt & Ringhof

Reception at the Rådhus, 12 May 2004

The City of Copenhagen hosted an official reception for Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson with guests. Youngsters, kindergardens, day care children and their parents were invited to show up dressed as princes and princesses. Also lots of music was played outside the town hall. At the reception Crown Prince Frederik gave a speech to thank for the 60 sets of 5 glasses the couple received from Copenhagen council. After the reception the couple and parents shortly appeared on the balcony of the Rådhus.

When Christine and I arrived in Copenhagen we first went to our hotel to check in and leave our luggage. Afterwards we soon were on our way to the Rådhus Square. We met little children dressed up as princes and princesses, and we were sure nothing was to be seen anymore at the square. But when we arrived there were still some people and photographers waiting outside and it didn’t take more than a few minutes before we saw Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson, as well as several members of the family leaving the Rådhus. From quite a far distance we did manage to make some pictures.


Apart from members of the family several members of the royal court were present.

  • Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark
  • Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Elizabeth Donaldson
  • Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra of Denmark
  • King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
  • Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
  • Princess Elisabeth of Denmark
  • Professor John Donaldson and Mrs Susan Elizabeth Donaldson
  • Mr Craig Stephens and Mrs Jane Stephens née Donaldson
  • Mr Scott Bailey and Mrs Patricia Bailey née Donaldson
  • Mr John Stuart Donaldson and Mrs Leanne Donaldson
  • Mr Claude and Mrs Françoise Bardin
  • Count and Countess Etienne de Laborde de Monpezat
  • Count and Countess Jean-Baptiste de Laborde de Monpezat
  • Mr Jacques and Mrs Maurille Beauvillain
The speech of Crown Prince Frederik

Dear Lord Mayor,

On behalf of my fiancée, Miss Mary Donaldson, I should like to express our sincere gratitude for the City of Copenhagen’s beautiful wedding present, and for this reception at the Copenhagen City Hall.

Today is my fiancée’s first visit to Copenhagen City Hall. I am fairly certain that my own first visit here must have been on the occasion of my Christening in June 1968, when I was driven in an open car through the city of Copenhagen, which was decked out in flags.

It would be wrong of me to say that I remember that day. Judging from press photos from the occasion, I wasn’t in a very good mood for part of that journey!

I do, however, remember a number of occasions when I have visited the City Hall in connection with official events, or when we have had an event to celebrate in my family.

From my earliest childhood, I have sat quietly on the golden chairs and observed and absorbed the many details in this beautiful Banqueting Hall, while the grown-ups listened to the numerous speeches that always accompany these events.

The coats of arms below the ceiling, remind one of the banqueting hall of King Arthur’s Court; the red swallow-tailed flags; all the gold, and the huge chandeliers.

And then there were the enormous walrus sculls with their tusks. They were enough to give a little boy much food for thought. Above them, one could see the Falcon of Iceland, the Polar Bear from Greenland and the Sheep of the Faroe Islands.

I am quite sure that the strong impressions we receive as children remain with us. I have always been happy to come here – and I can say that the Copenhagen City Hall is very much part of my childhood and youth.

In a few days we shall celebrate our wedding, and I suppose I ought to confess already that I have violated Christian III’s regulation not to invite more than 24 couples and 12 good friends to the wedding. Also, both beer and wine will be served. I think the fine for those guilty of breaking the rule then was in the order of 40 marks to the City, and 40 marks to the Monarch. Still, I suppose it is negotiable?

Once again, thank you very much for today’s reception at the City Hall. Thank you for many years of warm and genuine hospitality here in the Home of the City.

And, naturally, my fiancée and I wish to thank you most warmly for this very beautiful gift which we shall use and enjoy.

Thank you.

Party at the Vega Nightclub, 12 May 2004

On Wednesday evening 12 May Christine, Stig (whom we met in the afternoon) and I decided to have a look at Amalienborg. A few people from the press were waiting in front of one of the palaces, and we decided to join them. Unfortunately it started raining before we had seen anybody interesting coming out or going in. Finally the doors opened and Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan came out. He stepped into a car, which drove him to the other side of the palace square to one of the other three palaces of Amalienborg (the one that houses the royal museum).

Some time afterwards, when we were already cold and soaking wet, also Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine of Sweden left the palace. As it seemed more was happening at the palace they all went to, we went there. Other guests arrived there by bus, among them family of Mary Donaldson. One bus also contained some royals. We saw Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn, as well as Mary Donaldson’s father and stepmother. Stig saw some members of the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg family and some Greek royals arrive on foot from the other palace nearby, but because of the many people watching and the rain Christine and I didn’t notice them. Because of the bad weather we didn’t go to the Vega Nightclub anymore, where later that evening – after having a buffet dinner at the palace – the royals and friends of Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson would celebrate a night out with the couple.

Reception at the Folketing (Parliament), 13 May 2004

The Danish royal family and few family members, as well as a few members of court, attended a reception at the Folketing, the Danish parliament. Upon arrival of the royal family at the Danish Parliament Christine and I were standing on the other side of the street – a military band standing in front of us to our big disappointment. We had to make photographs over the heads of the band members. However like everyone we also laughed loudly when Mary Donaldson’s hat was blown away by the wind.

photo & copyright: Christine

Crown Prince Frederik held a short speech.

Mr Speaker,

On behalf of my fiancée, Miss Mary Donaldson I should like to convey to you our sincere gratitude for the warm and friendly welcome we have received in the Folketing today.

I also wish to take the opportunity to express my warmest thanks for your very kind words to my fiancée. You have given us both great pleasure. In a few days, we embark on a new life together, which will be both private and official.

We are aware that there are high expectations of us. We shall do our best to live up to them.

Over the years, successive parliaments have shown my family and me much kindness, and with your warm words today, Mr Speaker, both my fiancée and I feel well prepared to face the future. In the days to come, it will give us a great deal of pleasure to think back on this day.

Mr Speaker,

Thank you very much indeed for the beautiful dining table, which the Danish Parliament has given us today as a wedding present. I am sure that, also in our home, the dining table will be a place around which we gather, for a good meal, lively discussions and good times together.

Thank you very much.

As at least half of the official photographers had left already there was quite a lot of space on the stairs on both sides of the red carpet. Christine and I managed to get a good place on the first row. Stig joined us, while also Dag from Norway had arrived. Elsebeth and Helene, two little Danish girls, were standing near us with each a small red paper heart with some text for Mary Donaldson on it. I managed to catch Mary’s attention shouting at her: “Mary the girls have a small present for you.” She hesitated, but then walked over to us after all to collect the little gift of Elsebeth. She was exited, her mother and sister were exited and so were we – and the Norwegian press standing behind us who now after all managed to get some good views on Mary. Mary once again turned around saying: ‘Tusend tak’ (Lots of thanks) before going back and step in her car. The little girls were soon surrounded by press who made pictures and wanted to know what Elsebeth had given to Mary. Helene still had her heart but her mother said they were going to put it in the mailbox at Amalienborg for Mary. Christine, Dag, Stig and I left and went into town. In the afternoon we visited the Royal Museum at Amalienborg, enjoying amongst others a small wedding exhibition.

  • Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark
  • Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Elizabeth Donaldson
  • Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra of Denmark
  • King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
  • Princess Alexia of Greece and Carlos Morales Quintana
  • Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
  • Prince Nikolaos of Greece Princess Theodora of Greece
  • Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
  • Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (according to the website of the Royal House, but I didn’t see her)
  • Professor John Donaldson and Mrs Susan Donaldson
  • Mr Craig Stephens and Mrs Jane Stephens
  • Mr Scott Bailey and Mrs Patricia Bailey
  • Mr John S. Donaldson and Mrs Leanne Donaldson

Royal Theatre, 13 May 2004

The Royal Theatre has been located at Kongens Nytorv since the foundation in 1748 by King Frederik V of Denmark. At first it was a theatre for the monarch, although there was public access. The first theatre on the site could house 800 people and was designed by architect Nicolai Eigtved. Already in 1774 it was enlarged by architect C.F. Harsdorff. In the beginning the theatre only had 8 actors, 4 actresses, one female and two male dancers. But since it has become a stage for many arts: drama, opera, ballet and symphonic music. After 1849 the theatre lost much of its importance, and the decision was made to construct an entirely new theatre. It was designed by architects Vilhelm Dahlerup and Ove Pedersen. It was erected next to the first theatre, which later was demolished. The theatre was inaugurated on October 15, 1874. In 1931 the annexed Art Deco playhouse, Stærekassen or Ny Scene were added. Today, the Royal Theatre consists of four stages: the main stage at the Royal Theatre, Stærekassen and two drama stages at Turbinehallerne, a former power station in Adelgade. But new additions are being build at the moment.

Flower decoration

The flower decoration at the Royal Theatre was designed by flower decorator Erik Buch. The balcony at Kongens Nytorv was decorated with a love symbol: two composed hearts in two warm rose colours with a strip of for-get-me-nots. And also with three big boxes of red and orange roses, red carnations, virburnum and Solomon’s seal. The entrance hall was decorated with two fir-trees in paradise applegreen, lilacs and all in warm red, rose and orange colours. At the sides of the stage were two composed hearts in two warm rose colours, and at the side of the balcony and the royal loge were boxes with red and salmonorange roses, spurge, orange gloriosa, double red tulips, Lieutenant’s hearts (translated from Dutch it would be tearing hearts), flammede koralranker, lathyrus and jasmin.


The Royal Theatre arranged a programme for the big wedding feast that was the gift of the theatre and its employees to the Crown Princely Couple. The program both reflected the theatre’s traditional repertoire as well as modern music. Both Australian and Danish artists performed.

  • Friedrich Kuhlau (arr.): Kong Christian stod ved højen mast – Det Kongelige Kapel, dirigent Michael Schønwandt.
  • Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Bryllupsmarch (Wedding march) – Det Kongelige Kapel, dirigent Michael Schønwandt.
  • Balcony scene from Neumeiers ballet ballet Romeo & Juliet, at music of the Russian composer Sergei Prokofjev – With Australian soloist Margaret Illmann and the Danish soloist Mads Blangstrup. Det Kongelige Kapel, dirigent Michael Schønwandt.
  • Percy Grainger: The Merry Wedding – By soloists of Den Kongelige Opera, Det Kongelige Operakor and Det Kongelige Kapel, led by ledelse af Michael Schønwandt. The soloists were Anne Margrethe Dahl, Elisabeth Halling, Randi Stene, Hanne Fischer, Niels Jørgen Riis, Michael Kristensen, Johan Reuter, John Lundgren and Christian Christiansen.
  • Worldpremière of the new ballet ‘A wedding gift’ of John Neumeier at music of Outlandish – Outlandish performed together with Det Kongelige Kapel. The French-Danish couple Marie-Pierre and Kenneth Greve danced a pas de deux.
  • Danish singer Sanne Salomonsen and jazz-bassist Chris Minh Doky: ‘In A New York Minute’.
  • The Raveonettes: ‘Attack of the ghost riders’, ‘That great love sound’ and ‘Heartbreak stroll’.
  • Tasmanian night of Jokum Rohde – Writer and dramatist Jokum Rohde wrote a nice wedding adventure for the Crown Princely Couple, that was performed by actor Sonja Richter.
  • Donovan: ‘The Little Tin Soldier’ and ‘Sunshine Superman’ – Scottish star Donovan sang a Hans Christian Andersen song and a lovesong
  • Benny Andersen, Povl Dissing & The Brazz Brothers: ‘Godmorgen Rosalina’ and ‘Rosalina’
  • Kashmir: ‘Aftermath’ and ‘Ramparts’
  • Richard Wagner: Prelude to the 3rd act, as well as the wedding choir from Lohengrin – Det Kongelige Operakor and Det Kongelige Kapel led by Michael Schønwandt.
  • Gioacchino Rossini: ‘Di chi son rea’ from Travel to Reims – Performed by tenor Helge Rønning and mezzosoprano Hanne Fischer. Det Kongelige Kapel, dirigent Michael Schønwandt.
  • August Bournonville: Brudevalsen from Et Folkesagn (music by Niels W. Gade) The Bridal Waltz was danced by the two soloists from Den Kongelige Ballet, Gudrun Bojesen and Mads Blangstrup, in costumes and scenography designed by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Det Kongelige Kapel, dirigent Michael Schønwandt.
Wedding supper

Roll of smoked Eastsee Salmon with herbal creme
Slices of Parma ham with turned salad and slices of Parmesan
Vegetarian Quiches
Quiches Lorraine with bacon and onions
Selection of sandwiches
Chicken sateh with peanutsauce
Petit fours
Champagne, Den Gule Enke (The Yellow Widow)
White wine, La Cigaraline 2002
Red wine, Cahors, Cuvée du Mariage

Early in the evening the four of us were standing next to the entrance of the Royal Theatre. However after a while we had to leave as it was pool press only. While Christine, Dag and Stig found theirselves a place at the side of the road, I headed for the press area on the other side of the street right at the front of the Royal Theatre. We had to wait for ages before the first (airport) busses with guests arrived. Unfortunately for me and all the photographers around me busses mainly stopped in our view, so we couldn’t see the guests, including many royals as we saw on the screen near the Royal Theatre. For a long time the only exciting moment was when one of the guards at the entrance fainted and had to be dragged inside to receive medical aid. But finally busses were giving us a bit more space, and happily the most important guests at the end came in cars so we were able to photograph them. After having had dinner we returned to the Royal Theatre. We saw the last part of the performance inside the Royal Theatre on the big screen. When the guests left we didn’t really see a lot anymore, as it was pretty dark outside, but we managed to recognise some guests after all.

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