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- Australians celebrated Mary Donaldson’s ascent to the throne of Denmark on Monday.
- Celebrations took place across Australia, including in Hobart, Queen Mary’s hometown in Tasmania.
- Crown Prince Frederik was proclaimed king of Denmark after Queen Margrethe II’s abdication.
A day after an Australian became queen of Denmark, her native land on Monday celebrated the unlikely fairy tale with cocktails, picnics and a “Danish Fiesta.”
Mary Donaldson’s journey from Tasmania to the world’s first Australian-born queen has captivated both Danes and Australians. People gathered to mark the occasion across Australia, including Queen Mary’s hometown of Hobart, the capital of the southern island state of Tasmania.
In Melbourne, scores gathered at Denmark House, one of Melbourne’s oldest social clubs, to celebrate the coronation with a special cultural event.
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“It’s not something that happens every day that you have an Australian becoming queen. I don’t know if it will ever happen again,” Danish Club Vice President Lykka Borup told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Denmark’s King Frederik X and Queen Mary ride in a coach back to Amalienborg Palace after the proclamation, in Copenhagen, on Jan. 14, 2024. Denmark’s prime minister proclaimed Frederik X as king after his mother, Queen Margrethe II, formally signed her abdication. Massive crowds turned out to rejoice at the throne passing from a beloved monarch to her popular son. (Emil Nicolai Helms/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)
Mary’s husband, Crown Prince Frederik, was proclaimed king of the European nation on Sunday, two weeks after his 83-year-old mother, Queen Margrethe II, announced she would be the first Danish royal to abdicate in about 900 years.
Several landmarks in Hobart were lit up in Denmark’s red and white colors, as many residents celebrated with a picnic or a high tea at Taroona Beach, near Queen Mary’s childhood home.
Celebrations were also held at the Slip Inn, the Sydney pub where the royal couple first met during the 2000 Olympics. The establishment announced it was hosting a “Danish Fiesta” during January, with a special “There’s Something About Mary” cocktail.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described Queen Mary’s ascension as a “great day.”
“She has carried herself in a way that I think just brings enormous support and pride to all Australians,” he told the ABC’s Radio National program on Monday.
“We’re very proud that Hobart-born Mary Donaldson has become the queen of Denmark,” he said.
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Albanese said his government has made a donation to a charity that works to protect the endangered Tasmanian devil.
“Mary grew up in Tasmania, and so it is fitting Australia marks this occasion with a gift to support the conservation of the Tasmanian devil,” he said in a statement.
Jeremy Rockliff, premier of Mary’s home state, said Tasmanians “could not be prouder” of Queen Mary, and there was “always an open invitation” for the royal couple to visit.
The Tasmanian government also said it would send a gift of a table of Huon pine, a Tasmanian timber, handmade by a local furniture maker, and make a donation to a charity that supports children’s wellbeing. It’s a cause that the 51-year-old Queen Mary, a mother of four, actively supported during her two decades as crown princess of Denmark.