9 OCTOBER 2003
Now that she is officially to become a member of an institution which goes back 1,000 years, Crown Prince Frederik's bride-to-be has a crash course in the fundamentals of being a Danish crown princess ahead of her.
While she has already embarked upon a course of study in the Danish language, she has no choice other than to prove herself a dedicated student. "There's a standing in-house order to speak only Danish here, and she has to speak up if she's not able to follow along," reveals Court Chamberlain Per Thornit. Instruction is given by two teachers who arrive daily to drill Mary in speech and grammar, and the 31-year-old Australian also speaks Danish with Frederik.
And it's not just the language that Mary has been focusing on. She has also been checking out TV footage of Queen Margrethe's 1967 wedding, presumably in readiness for her own nuptials which will take place on May 14.
Among all the other changes the new princess-in-waiting must take on board are those associated with her rise in profile. Shortly after the engagement was announced Mary had personal bodyguards assigned to her, and she can no longer drive herself to the stables, or take a casual walk around Amalienborg.
"She is in the spotlight so much that she can't venture out alone anymore. It's going to change her basic way of life to have two men constantly at her back. But that's just how her life is, and I am not a second in doubt that she will handle the transition," says Per.