The Danish Queen is celebrating her first birthday since the change of reign
The new Queen of Denmark turned 52 on Monday, and the Danish Royal House released a never-before-seen photo of Mary with her father, John Donaldson, on Instagram. The snap showed the lookalike dad and daughter smiling side-by-side with a makeup-free Mary putting an arm around her father’s shoulder.
“Her Majesty The Queen has a birthday and turns 52 today 🇩🇰,” the court captioned the personal photo. “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.”
Prince Vincent, 13, is Queen Mary and King Frederik’s youngest son, and the detail that he snapped the candid made the memento extra special. The King and Queen are also parents to Crown Prince Christian, 18, Princess Isabella, 16, and Princess Josephine, 13, who is Prince Vincent’s twin.
In December 2023, weeks before Frederik’s mother, Queen Margrethe, announced her unexpected abdication, then-Crown Princess Mary traveled to her native Australia with the twins to visit family, Danish outlet Billed Bladet reported. Princess Isabella and then-Crown Prince Frederik later joined the trio, while son Prince Christian stayed back due to school.
The royal family went abroad a month after speculation surfaced that Frederik was having an affair with Mexican-born socialite Geneveva Casanova after they were photographed together during his private trip to Madrid that October. Casanova denied allegations of a romantic relationship with the royal, and the Danish Royal House did not comment.
Frederik, Mary and three of their children were off duty from royal responsibilities during their private trip to Australia, where Mary was born and later met her husband. The future Queen Mary was born Mary Donaldson in Hobart, Tasmania in 1972, almost a decade after her parents, John and Henrietta, emigrated from Scotland.
At 28, Mary was working as an advertising executive before a chance encounter changed her life. She found herself chatting to Prince Frederik, although he introduced himself simply as "Fred," at the Slip Inn on Sydney's Darling Harbor in September 2000. The pub was filled with people from around the world who were in town for the Summer Olympics.
"Something clicked," Mary said in a 2005 interview. "It wasn't the fireworks in the sky or anything like that, but there was a sense of excitement."
For a year, the pair got to know each other through a long-distance relationship that flew under the radar of the media. In 2002, Mary moved to Copenhagen, converted to the Lutheran Church and learned Danish, a notoriously tricky language to master. The couple announced their engagement in 2003 and married the following year at Copenhagen Cathedral.
In a nod to his Scottish heritage, John Donaldson walked his daughter down the aisle in a kilt, and the bride became Crown Princess Mary when she wed then-Crown Prince Frederik. Mary’s mother Henrietta sadly was not at her royal wedding day, as she died in 1997 following complications from heart surgery — and without knowing her daughter’s royal destiny ahead.
“I’m sure she would be very happy to see me where I am, not only happy in my family life and as a mother, but also to see that I’ve used my new situation and the resources and skills I have to form a platform to make a difference where I can… And I think she’s probably smiling,” Mary told The Australian Women’s Weekly in 2013.
Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
Two weeks after Queen Margrethe shocked Denmark when she announced in her annual New Year’s Address that she would abdicate on Jan. 14, 2024, the 52nd anniversary of her accession to the throne, her eldest son Frederik succeeded her as sovereign. Queen Margrethe, 83, cited health concerns and the extensive back surgery she had earlier that year as factors in the decision, and the change was made official when she signed a declaration of abdication during a Council of State at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen on Jan. 14.
As Frederik became the new monarch, Prince Christian became the Crown Prince, taking his father’s former title. Like Crown Prince Christian, the couple’s three younger children Isabella, Vincent and Josephine each moved up a spot in the line of succession as well.
Queen Mary became the only queen consort to have been born in Australia.
King Frederik’s family was front and center on his accession day, and his wife and kids joined him on the balcony of the palace after the prime minister proclaimed his accession to the throne. The new King and Queen even shared a surprise kiss, which was met with cheers from the crowd.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.