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Queen Mary of Denmark poses in sweet rare photo with dad to celebrate 52nd birthday

It's the Australian-born royal's first birthday as queen  

Queen Mary of Denmark greets the crowd as she arrives to a church service on the occasion of the change of throne in Denmark, in Aarhus Cathedral, on January 21, 2024
Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
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Happy 52nd birthday to Queen Mary of Denmark. To mark her first since becoming queen, the mother-of-four and King Frederik's wife chose to share a heartfelt photo of herself and her dad John Dalgleish Donaldson on the Danish royal family's Instagram account.

The relaxed father-daughter picture showed the pair beaming at the camera, with the queen placing an arm around her dad's shoulders. It was taken in sunny Australia, which explains Mary's laidback yet chic look – her hair in a thick braid, sunglasses perched on her head, a casual black outfit, and a crossbody bag.

Mary and Frederik's 13-year-old son Prince Vincent took the snap.

Queen Mary of Denmark poses with her dad John to celebrate her 52nd birthday
Queen Mary of Denmark poses with her dad John to celebrate her 52nd birthday

The caption, originally in Danish, read: "Her Majesty The Queen has a birthday and turns 52 today. On this occasion, the Queen has chosen an image of a special moment with her father from her recent trip to Australia in December. His Royal Highness Prince Vincent is the photographer behind it."

Australian-born Mary, from Tasmania, is the youngest of four children to her Scottish parents, Henrietta and John, a Professor of Applied Mathematics. The couple married in Edinburgh in 1963 and later that year they emigrated to Australia, becoming Australian citizens in 1975.

Her mother Henrietta, who worked as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of The University of Tasmania, sadly passed away in November 1997 after complications from heart surgery. John re-married British crime novelist Susan Horwood, who writes under the pen name of Susan Moody.


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It's no secret Mary and her dad John share a close bond. In 2004, John walked his daughter down the aisle at her royal wedding to Frederik, paying tribute to his Scottish roots by wearing a kilt. Mary also proudly showed her ties to Scotland by including heraldic Scottish symbols on her coat of arms following her marriage.

Mary walks down the aisle with her father Dr. John Donaldson at her 2004 wedding to Frederik© Getty
Mary walks down the aisle with her father John at her 2004 wedding

There has been a lot of change in the Danish royal family this year alone. Frederik's mother Queen Margrethe II stepped down from the throne in mid-January, paving the way for her elder son to rule and for his wife Mary to become queen.  

Mary has already made her first trip outside Denmark since the accession. At the end of January, she attended the Men's EHF Euro 2024 final at Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, where reigning Olympic champions France defeated the Danes 33-31 and claimed their fourth European men's handball title.

Sharing a courtside photo on Instagram, Mary penned: "It was a very close game. The picture here was taken just before the second half started. 

"What a final… Well fought Denmark. It was close and nerve-wracking to watch. It has been an impressive effort put in by all of you at the European Championship. Congratulations on the silver medal which I had the honour to present."

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