Customer Reviews: Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
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on January 3, 2008
This book is a decent entry into that genre of entertainment called "READ GOGGLE-EYED HOW ONE GIRL IN A MILLION GOT LUCKY!" It's decently written, wholly positive, not to say nearly hagiographic, and has nice photos. The outlines of the story of how the erstwhile Australian real estate/marketing executive met the Crown Prince of Denmark in a Sydney bar during the 2000 Olympics, and actually made it to the altar with him and is on her way to becoming Queen Consort of Denmark, IS remarkable. Unfortunately, it's the ONLY remarkable aspect of the book, because the two people involved couldn't be more ordinary. The only thing extraordinary about Prince Frederik is the circumstance of his birth, and the only thing extraordinary about Mary Donaldson is the circumstance of her marriage, as mind-bogglingly successful a grab at the matrimonial brass ring as ever was.

Unlike the late Diana, Princess of Wales, Mary Donaldson (as well as the handful of other commoners who wed European Crown Princes in the last few years) had some maturity and world experience before catching HER prince, and thus seems to have been able to make the most of her tremendous opportunity without paying for it later with misery and disappointment.

Catty as that sounds, they look like a well-matched couple and Miss Mary, who seems to have quite a bit of backbone, has gone on to adapt to a new country, new religion, new language, new public role, while giving the Danes the next generation's male heir AND the first little princess born to the Danish royal family since 1946, all within the first two years of marriage. Except for a few bumps, most notably some difficulty mastering Danish (she has continued to improve here, and it IS a notoriously difficult language to learn as an adult), she has adapted well and is increasingly popular among the Danes - in 2009 the royal tabloid Billed-Bladet took a poll in which Mary emerged as the most popular member of the Danish royal family.

The book gives lots of detail about how the couple kept the relationship going while separated by continents between summer 2000 and October 2003, when Frederik's mother, Queen Margrethe, finally gave her consent to the marriage. If you enjoy those sorts of details, and those describing Mary's adjustment leading up to the couple's sumptuous and, I must admit, quite gorgeous wedding in May 2004 (it is frankly the loveliest royal wedding I've ever seen, and three different DVDs exist on which you can see it), you'll enjoy this.

This book is now greatly outdated. Frederik and Mary are approaching their tenth wedding anniversary, are now also the parents of four adorable children (two of whom are twins, a boy and a girl, born in January 2011), have myriad foreign tours under their belts, while Mary's hairdos and wardrobe have undergone noticeable shifts. The usual rumors about cracks in their marriage occasionally pop up, particularly in certain circles, but true or not, Mary continues to carry herself with a certain admirable dignity. I'm sure other books will follow to catch everyone up on the doings of one of Europe's Golden Royal Couples. Or, you can try getting the hang of tabloid Danish and tracking the couple's lives through Billed-Bladet, Seg og Her, and Her og Nu online. If you don't mind this book being so far out of date, tuck it into your purse as you ride the bus, or into your tote as you head for the beach - that's about its level of insight.
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on July 16, 2007
I have to agree with the one-star reviewer, in one aspect of her review: this is definitely a somewhat shallow, lets-generate-good-PR, type of biography. There's no real story here. The facts of Mary's life are presently blandly, but then, maybe there's nothing really exciting about her either. Mary seems like a nice enough person from a nice family. Frederik also seems like a nice person from a nice family. But there's no in-depth analysis of their characters, or their very different backgrounds. (You have to wonder, what did Queen Margarethe really think about her son's choice of an Australian commoner? But you won't get that kind of question in a "loyal" bio such as this one.)

The book is already a little out of date, since Mary and Frederik have had two children as the date of this review, and this biography only covers up to their marriage. I don't dislike this book -- it's informative about the basic facts of Mary's life, and has several nice photographs -- but yes, it is disappointing if you want an in-depth, thoughtful biography of this person.
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on December 27, 2012
This is a must for anyone who is a fan or interested in the Danish Monarchy! Crown Princess Mary is married to Crown Prince Frederik and is the next Danish queen. This is a nice and interesting look at her. Plus, this is one of the few books (I only know of this book and one other) on Crown Princess Mary that is in English.
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on March 31, 2006
This is one of the best royal biographies of the year! The authors stick to the facts and do not reley on untrue rumors; at the same time they fully describe the personalty of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
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on February 6, 2014
Really enjoyed this book on Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. Beautiful woman and loved the information on her courtship to Prince Frederick. Modern day fairy tale!
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on July 7, 2007
Unfortunately this turned out to be merely a public relations book for Mary Donaldson of Tasmania, Australia...who became the Crown Princess of Denmark. Falsehoods, exaggerations, and omissions about Mary's history (dating relationships, friends, live-in lovers, unstable job history, her hanging out with Crown Prince Frederik in the Slip Inn "pick-up" bar in Sydney) made it shallow reading. It reads like a public relations campaign, with a false "edge" given to the reader to try to make it appear that the real Mary is in the book. However, the real Mary Donaldson is missing. It may well be that Danish journalist cannot research and write objectively about the royalty they support with their taxes. Pehaps in such a small country it is not "wise" to write truthfully about the royal family if you want to get ahead and/or keep your job. But it was certainly a pretty book and pleasant coffee-table reading. Perhaps that is the real purpose?
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on October 20, 2007
informative first info of Princess Mary and her courtship and marriage to the Crown Prince of Denmark...
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