Mary Elizabeth Donaldson was born on 5 February 1972 in Hobart, the main town on Tasmania, which is part of Australia. The island is 11⁄2 times larger than Denmark, but the population is considerably smaller (456,652 in 2001).
She grew up as the youngest of four siblings. Her father, John Dalgleish Donaldson, emigrated to the mountainous island from Scotland in 1963, a few months after his marriage to the Crown Princess' mother, Henrietta Clark. He works as a Professor of Applied Mathematics. Mary's mother, who died in 1997, was a senior secretary at the University of Tasmania.
After Mary had completed elementary and secondary education, she attended college 1983-86. In 1989, she started studying at the island's university, obtaining a BA in Economics and Law five years later. In the years 1994-96, she added an advertising and marketing diploma.
In 1996-2003, the Crown Princess had several advertising jobs, reaching the position of account handler. She soon orientated herself internationally, working first in Edinburgh in her father's native Scotland in 1999, then in Paris in 2002. When she moved to Copenhagen, she was employed by Microsoft Business Solutions with responsibility for company development, communication and marketing.
Like the Crown Prince, Mary has always been very interested in sport and an active participant in, among other things, yachting, golf and riding. On the other hand, she has left marathon running to Crown Prince Frederik.
Lars Bisgaard, Senior Lecturer, University of Southern Denmark