An exclusive extract from the June 2004 royal wedding souvenir edition of The Australian Women's Weekly.
When the girl from Hobart came down the aisle, dressed in a luminous, duchesse satin gown with a six-metre train, she took her hand off the arm of her father, John, and took her place on a cream-upholstered stool beside the Prince.
As the Copenhagen Boys’ Choir reached the final descant of Handel’s coronation hymn, Zadok the Priest, Mary extended a hand, laid it on Frederik’s thigh and gave him a gentle, reassuring pat.
This wasn’t exactly protocol, but when Frederik turned towards her, Mary’s smile was pure Tasmanian sunshine. And the Prince, as they say in these parts, looked like the gull that got the herring.
Nothing that followed, solemn, moving and joyous as it all was, expressed their feelings more memorably.
Frederik said it first. Out on the streets, the crowd watching on big, closed-circuit TV screens gave a massed murmur of approval. Queen Margrethe, the groom’s doting mother, blinked away a tear of her own. And then it was Mary’s turn.
“Likewise I ask you,” said Erik Norman Svendsen, Bishop of Copenhagen, “Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, will you take Frederik Andre Henrik Christian, standing by your side, to be your husband?”
From outside the cathedral a huge roar went up. Thousands of glasses of priced-to-kill Danish pilsner were hoisted into the air. People hugged each other. John, Mary’s bearded father, smoothed his kilt and bit his bottom lip. Now the fairytale was real. Mary, the little girl who once played hopscotch on the streets of Taroona, was a true-life princess.
Read the full story of Mary and Frederik's romance and view the gorgeous photographs in the June 2004 Australian Women's Weekly.
Image from Austral ©