Princess Mary of Denmark, who is soon to be Queen Mary, donned an outfit loaded with symbolic meaning when she attended a traditional New Year’s dinner at the royal palaces in Copenhagen on Monday.
It was her first official appearance since Queen Margrethe announced that she was abdicating the Danish throne.
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Arriving at the Christian VII Palace at Amalienborg on January 1, Mary and her husband (and future King) Frederik looked resplendent in royal attire.
While Mary continued a tradition of re-wearing gowns from earlier occasions — she’s worn the burgundy velvet Birgit Hallstein gown six times before — it was her tiara that drew attention from seasoned royal watchers.
The tiara is a family heirloom, which was originally commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte for the Swedish queen in 1804.
The diamond tiara, designed to look like a branch of sparkling leaves with ruby berries, has matching earrings and is only worn on outings of huge significance.
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Princess Mary is the only Danish royal to wear the set since her 2004 marriage to Prince Frederik, last wearing them at Queen Elizabeth’s 50th Jubilee in 2022.
The diamond set made its way from Sweden to Denmark when the Swedish queen’s daughter married the future King Frederik VIII in 1869, and it’s stayed with the Danish royal family ever since.
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark arrive at Amalienborg Palace. Credit: Getty
Princess Mary also wore a huge gold chain with a suspended a pendant in the shape of an elephant.
The medallion represents The Order of the Elephant, a Danish chivalric order dating back to the late 17th century.
Worn at her waist was an eight-pointed star set with diamonds and pearls and a cross in the centre, another symbol of the Order of the Elephant.
Crown Princess Mary has become a beloved member of the royal family since the couple’s wedding in 2004. Credit: Getty Images
The future Queen also donned a diamond-framed brooch containing a portrait of Margrethe, hanging from a white and red ribbon bow.
The brooch was a personally gifted token from Margrethe, given to Mary before her wedding to Frederik.
The 83-year-old monarch announced her decision to abdicate during her annual New Year’s Eve speech, saying that the time had come to “leave the responsibility to the next generation”.
“I have decided that now is the right time,” she said.
“On 14 January 2024 — 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father — I will step down as Queen of Denmark.
“I leave the throne to my son, Crown Prince Frederik.”
Queen Margrethe II announced her abdication during her New Year’s speech. Credit: EPA
Frederik will become known as King Frederik X, while Mary will be Queen Consort.
Margrethe’s abdication comes at an interesting time in Danish royal history, with 2023 proving to be a tumultuous year for the normally scandal-free family.
The children of Frederik’s brother, Prince Joachim, were stripped of their royal titles early in 2023 as Margrethe endeavoured to create a “trimmed-down” version of the monarchy to suit modern times.
That prompted rumours of a split between Frederik’s family and Joachim’s family.
But things were to become even more complicated late in 2023, when a Spanish publication aired unverified rumours that Frederik was having an affair with Mexican socialite Genoveva Casanova.
Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary (left) and Genoveva Casanova (right). Credit: Getty
Casanova furiously denied the claims, and Frederik and Mary have since presented a united front in public, with the royal family declining to address the unsubstantiated rumours.
Princess Mary recently completed a low-key trip to Australia and New Zealand, arriving in Sydney on December 6 with her twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.
Frederik and 16-year-old Princess Isabella then joined the family in Queensland.
Back in Denmark on Christmas Eve, Mary and Frederik were pictured holding hands as they attended a church service with their children.
Earlier, Princess Mary shared a message on her Mary Foundation website and Instagram account hinting at a big year to come.
Princess Mary poses solo for her foundation. Credit: Mary Fonden
”The transition to the new year is always an opportunity to pause and appreciate everything that has happened during the year,” the message read.
“In Mary Foundation, we close 2023 soon and go on Christmas holidays with a gratitude for all that we humans can do when we do it together.
“We need each other if we are to succeed.
“Warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”.
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