The exhibition “H.R.H. Crown Princess Mary 1972-2022” in the Great Hall at the Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød, Denmark, already opened on 4 February 2022 and will only be on display until 31 August 2022.
The exhibition on the occasion of the 50th birthday of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark tells the personal story of the Australian born Mary Donaldson and the importance of her role within the Danish Royal Family and for the Danish Realm (Faroe Islands and Greenland). The exhibition not only features her, but also other princesses who have come to Denmark from abroad and Danish princesses who have become crown princesses abroad. They all have shaped their own role as a Crown Princess in an interaction between historical frameworks and traditions, as well as current reality.
The hall is really huge, which when I visited, unfortunately didn’t make it less crowded, especially in the areas about Mary herself. I would have liked to have a bit more space to take pictures and to have a look at the items on display. There must have been a lot of visitors this summer. The exhibition starts with the newest painting of Mary, that she herself unveiled on 3 February to open the exhibition. It was painted by the Spanish born painter Jesús Herrera Martínez, who lives in Denmark since 2016.
Among the (crown)princesses that are featured in the exhibition are Queen Ingrid of Denmark, Princess Alexandra (Queen of the United Kingdom), Princess Dagmar (Empress Maria Feodorvna of Russia), but much further back in time also Princess Sophie Magdalene (Queen of Sweden). Her enormous coronation gown was absolutely one of the highlights of the exhibition for me.
After seeing the Crown Princess Mary exhibition at the Koldinghus a few days earlier I said – totally forgetting that it was in Frederiksborg – that all I missed had been the wedding dress. But here it was, in Hillerød. Also on display: the Scottish outfit of her father John Donaldson, the dresses of the younger bridesmaids, a few dresses from the early years before Mary’s wedding, her school uniform and some Australian stuffed animals belonging to her children, the Faroe outfits of Mary and her family, the Greenlandish costumes of Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, several beautiful paintings, as well as Mary’s red velvet New Year’s gown and a few other evening dresses, that were much more glittering than I had expected.
I was totally in awe of the last huge showcase with dresses. So many memories of the time that I followed Mary and Crown Prince Frederik very closely, dresses that I remembered from her early days. And remember the hat that flew off her head days before the wedding? Another highlight of the exhibition without doubt were Mary’s wedding dress and the outfit of her father. It was wonderful finally being able to have a look at some of the details.
One by the way shouldn’t miss the top floor, where apart from some interesting royal paintings, there is also a small, but interesting part about the process of creating the painting by Jesús Herrera Martínez.
And if you come with children: there is a small paper quest for Mary through the exhibition available.
The catalogue “H.K.H. Kronprinsesse Mary 1972-2022” published in connection with the exhibition is as far as I could see unfortunately only available in Danish. The book costs 149 DKK. I think it covers all the items on display, but not every description comes with a picture.