Denmark Prepares for Royal Wedding
The Honolulu Advertiser
The romance began in a bar and on Friday it will bring a city to a standstill. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark is marrying Mary Donaldson, an Australian, in a union of blue-blood and commoner that is typical of royal marriages in Europe today, but is still guaranteed - weather permitting - to put on a sumptuous Old World spectacle. Donaldson was a project consultant for a Microsoft subsidiary before quitting to marry Frederik, the heir to Europe's oldest throne. She will become Crown Princess Mary. Police expect 250,000 people to jam the streets of Copenhagen, and except for official cars ferrying wedding guests, the only vehicle moving on Friday will be the newlyweds' horse-drawn carriage. Some 800 guests, including European and Asian royals, have been invited to the ceremony at the Lutheran cathedral, Our Lady Church. With memories of the deadly terrorist bombings in Madrid still fresh, the capital of 1.8 million people is taking no chances. One-third of Denmark's 9,000-strong police force will be on security duty.
Donaldson is 32; her fiance is 35. She was born 10,000 miles from Copenhagen on the Australian island of Tasmania, and in 1974-75 lived with her family in Houston, Texas, where she attended Clear Lake City Elementary School. Frederik's education includes two semesters studying international relations and government at Harvard University. He briefly worked at Denmark's U.N. mission in New York and the Danish Embassy in Paris. Frederik, who holds senior ranks in the Danish army, air force and navy, will get his own household staff and a parliament-approved salary raise from $700,000 to $2.4 million a year.
Frederik is heir to a throne founded by Gorm the Old, the Viking king who died in 958, and he will one day be King Frederik X, with Mary his queen. But that may be a long way off. Frederik's mother, Queen Margrethe, is 64 and has no known plans to abdicate.