After three years of dating and intense speculation, the Danish royal family announced yesterday that Mary
, 31, will marry Crown Prince Frederik, 35.
No date has been set for the wedding, but speculation is rife it will be held in the European spring -- next March, April or May. Mary, who has been living in Copenhagen, yesterday quit her job with Microsoft to become a full-time princess.
marries the prince, who is heir to the Danish throne, she
will be the queen in waiting -- believed to be the first-ever Australian royal.
Yesterday no further comment was coming from the palace, although every media outlet in Denmark was trying to track down Miss Donaldson
. Miss Donaldson
has never given an interview, although royal magazines and daily newspapers in Denmark are constantly snapping her
Yesterday Danish television was busily reprogramming to air portraits of the new princess and her
Nielsen said all of Denmark was besotted with Mary
"Everybody loves Mary
is very popular," he
seems down to earth, like a normal sort of girl.
"Everybody can relate to her
Nielsen said the royal magazines devoted several pages to Mary
recently said her
first Danish words publicly in response to a question about a fashion show.
is especially respected in Denmark because she
is credited with being a positive influence on Prince Frederik.
Before meeting Mary
, Frederik was depicted as the "wild prince". He
was reported to have many girlfriends and enjoyed adrenalin sports such as parachute jumping.
Spain's Crown Prince Felipe introduced Mary
to Prince Frederik at a city bar called the Slip Inn.
As a former Olympic yachtsman, Prince Frederik was at the Olympics to support the Danish team. At the time Mary was working at advertising agency Young and Rubicam.
The couple maintained a long-distance romance for more than a year before Mary
finally moved to London at the beginning of 2002, and soon after to Copenhagen.
The journey is a long way from Miss Donaldson's beginnings in suburban Hobart. Mary Elizabeth Donaldson
was born in Hobart on February 5, 1972. Her
father John and mother Henrietta -- who died in 1997 -- had four children: Jane, Patricia, Mary
and John. Mary
grew up in Taroona and studied at Taroona High School and Hobart College
-- where she
played hockey and basketball. She
graduated with a commerce-law degree from the University of Tasmania
After graduation Mary
moved to Melbourne to take up a position with an advertising agency and later moved to agencies in Sydney. Her latest job, which she quit yesterday, was as a project consultant with Microsoft Business Solutions in Denmark. Miss Donaldson
and Prince Frederik were in Hobart
together in January when the prince competed in the world dragon boat championships.