31 MARCH 2009

For the first time since Princess Marie married into the Danish royal family, the country's premier three couples are pictured together in an official portrait.

Taken on New Year's Day in the splendid surroundings of Copenhagen's waterfront Amalienborg Palace, which was built in the 18th century and is the Queen Margrethe and husband Prince Henrik's winter residence, the photograph displays the full majesty of the country's monarchy.

The princes all dressed in full military colours, with Crown Prince Frederik, who served in the elite Frogman Corps, in a Danish naval uniform.

Co-ordinating their regal looks, Frederick's wife Princess Mary and sister-in-law Marie both chose full-length midnight blue evening gowns and tiaras.

In Australia-born Mary's case her ensemble was topped off by a magnificent set of ruby jewellery, which once belonged to her husband's maternal grandmother Queen Ingrid.

Meanwhile, Marie, who is expecting her first child with husband Joachim and is clearly blossoming as her pregnancy advances, wore the tiara she was loaned for her wedding day.

As the image was shot on January 1, when royals traditionally host a VIP reception, the entire family have donned the Order Of The Elephant, which is worn only on the first day of the year and on the monarch's birthday.

Taken on New Year's Day ahead of the Danish royals' annual white tie gala, but only released now, the official portrait reflects the pride of Queen Margarethe and husband Henrik in their growing family
The newest addition to the clan is Marie, the pretty, French-born wife of their son Joachim, who is expecting the Queen's fifth grandchild
Though she's known for her informal style when off duty, on this occasion Mary had dressed in accordance with her status as crown princess, while her husband wore full military dress like his brother and father
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