Mary and the Crown Princesses

From 1 February to 30 December 2022

‘Mary and the Crown Princesses’ is a special exhibition to mark HRH Crown Princess Mary’s 50th birthday.

The exhibition ’Mary and the Crown Princesses’ at Koldinghus marks the occasion of Crown Princess Mary’s 50th birthday and paints a portrait of the Danish Crown Princess and her four predecessors in the Glücksborg dynasty. Among other unique exhibits, visitors to the exhibition can look forward to seeing the famous ruby set, the blue dress and the headband that the Crown Princes wore for Prince Christian’s christening in 2006.

In 2002, a young woman arrived in Denmark as Crown Prince Frederik’s unknown girlfriend. The couple got engaged, and at the wedding, in 2004, Mary Donaldson became Crown Princess of Denmark. With this, she took on a unique role that she has now filled for 18 years, and which she comments on in the new exhibition ‘Mary and the Crown Princesses’. The exhibition was created by the Royal Danish Collection to mark the Crown Princess’s 50th birthday on 5 February 2022.

In the exhibition, Crown Princess Mary guides the visitors on a journey through the history of her predecessors and the House of Glücksborg. The key figures in this story, apart from the Crown Princess herself, are the princesses Louise of Hesse-Kassel, Lovisa of Sweden-Norway, Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Ingrid of Sweden. Among them, Crown Princess Mary is the only princess not to come from a royal background.

Through a lifelike 1:1 projection on the walls throughout the exhibition, the visitors can meet Crown Princess Mary, who speaks about her own role and about her predecessors. The main theme of the exhibition is what it means to be a crown princess: what is expected, how have her predecessors approached the task, and how does one prepare for ultimately becoming queen and taking on a new role?

In the presentation, Crown Princess Mary reflects on what she recognizes in former queens in waiting and what she admires or finds inspiring in her predecessors. In the exhibition, she comments:

‘A crown princess faces the challenge of occupying an absolutely central position in a foreign country. You need to learn a new language and a new culture while under close public scrutiny – and you are keenly aware of how much there is to live up to. But you also have great opportunity for shaping your own role.’

The exhibition invites its visitors into a fascinating universe of graphic elements, projections and atmospheric scenography. And, not least, it shows unique exhibits, such as the ruby set and Crown Princess Mary’s personal photos from travels throughout the Danish realm, family life and the Crown Princess’s work for her patronages.

Facts: Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary

  • Born on 5 February 1972 in Tasmania, Australia
  • Born Mary Elizabeth Donaldson
  • Holds a combined Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce
  • Married Crown Prince Frederik on 14 May 2004 in Copenhagen Cathedral
  • Mother of four children: Prince Christian (b. 2005), Princess Isabella (b. 2007) and the twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine (b. 2011)
  • Patron of a large number of organizations within culture, research, fashion, sports and social and healthcare services

”Mary & the Crown Princesses” has been realized with generous support from:
A.P. Møller Fonden
Augustinus Fonden
Den Kongelige Formidlingsfond

A special thanks to the volunteers at The Royal Danish Collection:
The Royal Workroom

Thanks to external collaborators:
Exhibitiondesign: Torden & Lynild
Graphic design: IDna Group
Light and AV: Lystek
Filmproduktions: M2 Film & Laursen Kommunikation
Animation: Jonas Elsgaard
Print: Visions Graphic
Carpets: Ege
Security: G4S