Exactly what Queen Mary's 20 years of royal training has involved.

Mary Donaldson started from the bottom (of Australia) and now she's here — and as of January 14, 2024, she's the new Queen Consort of Denmark, following Queen Margrethe II's abdication from the throne after a 52-year reign. 

Not bad for a gal from Tassie who happened to meet Prince Frederik at Sydney pub the Slip Inn when she was 28 years old — and the rest is history. 

Back then she was Mary Donaldson, but she would go on to move to Copenhagen in 2002, marry Frederik in 2004, and welcome four children: Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.

Princess Mary and family in 2021. Image: Getty. 


Mary's ascension to her new role of Queen Consort, alongside husband *ahem* King Frederik got us wondering if our gal is prepared for such a hefty title. It turns out, she's been training for more than 20 years.

The training for Princess Mary to become Queen Mary.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Mary’s training began mere weeks after she met Prince Frederick in Sydney in 2000.

She enrolled in an eight-week course at Starquest Studios in Double Bay, where coach Teresa Page taught her how to walk into a room (???), connect with people, shake hands, and perform in front of the camera, she told Mamamia in an exclusive interview.

"Mary attended my second program ever," Page told us, explaining she met the royal when she signed up for one of Page's introductory courses.

"We asked Mary, 'Why do you want to do the program?'" Teresa also told The ABC in 2022.

"[She said] 'I'm 28 years old, life is passing me by and I want to change my life.'"

Once she moved to Copenhagen, Princess Mary began extensive lessons to become fluent in the Danish language, along with getting acquainted with the culture, history, and political landscape of Denmark. 

"One of the things she did very fast and very well was to learn Danish," Danish journalist Kristian Ring-Hansen Holt recalled to The ABC. 

"She almost spoke Danish instantly, and she took the hearts of the Danes."


Mary's style also had to change so Danish stylist Anja Camilla Alajdi was brought in to assist Mary in refining her wardrobe, adopting a more conservative and Scandinavian aesthetic while still representing international designers.

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary in 2015. Image: Getty. 

“Very early on, it was clear that there were expectations about what you wore and how you dressed appropriately to an event," Mary told the Financial Times in 2022.


"That was pretty daunting for me. I was a T-shirt-and-shorts girl, known to go barefoot.”

Aside from shifting her fashion choices, Mary also enrolled in military training. In 2008, the royal joined the Danish Home Guard which supports Denmark's Armed Forces, where she donned military gear and was taught how to operate a weapon, assisted in rescue operations and became a First Lieutenant in 2015 for finishing a grueling field exercise. 

Then there are Mary's philanthropic endeavours, with the Crown Princess a patron of several organisations, charities and foundations. She started her own organisation The Mary Foundation in 2007, which seeks to prevent bullying and social isolation across Denmark.

The training for Kate Middleton to become Queen.

From one soon-to-be-queen to another, Kate Middleton has also dedicated much of her adult life to preparing to become the next British monarch. In the 2017 Amazon Prime documentary Kate Middleton: Working Class to Windsor, a royal commenter said Kate was given lessons by the late Queen herself.

“From the beginning, Kate Middleton had a great deal of support from the royal family, which was really instructed by the Queen,” journalist Ashley Pearson said. 

“There were things like learning how to get out of a carriage without exposing your modesty and learning how to bend down to get flowers from a young girl without exposing your modesty. Things that you would never think you’d have to learn but, of course, a woman in her position would certainly need to know.”

Kate was reportedly taught “how to sit, who to curtsy to, who not to curtsy to, what fork to use, and whatever else they felt she needed to know,” Pearson claimed. “She was actually given lessons on how to be a royal wife.”


Like Mary, Kate's fashion had to evolve quickly to adapt to how a royal must present. She worked with a stylist, Natasha Archer, who created some of Kate's most iconic looks, including her post-birth photo out the front of St Mary’s Hospital in 2007. 

The Princess of Wales also has an in-house tailor on staff and her stylist even colour-matches outfits to her planned photo-op settings.

Kate Middleton, Prince William and family on Christmas Day, 2023. Image: Getty. 


“They scout locations months ahead of tour events and know what will photograph well and what won’t,” Susan Kelley said in What Kate Wore. “They also know how a material drapes, which fabrics wrinkle too easily, what brands might convey a sense of self-indulgence, and a host of other fashion facts.” 

After Queen Elizabeth's death, the Princess also assumed several charitable roles once held by the late Queen, becoming a patron of Action for Children and The Royal Photographic Society. 

From one Princess to another, Meghan Markle once famously claimed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that she received little training or guidance to prepare for her royal duties. 

This claim has been disputed by royal experts — albeit ones with ties to the Sussexes. Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand alleged in their book Finding Freedom that Meghan did receive training from the Queen ahead of her first royal engagement in 2018.

While Tom Bower claimed in book Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors that Meghan had full access to 14 staff members who were there to help acclimate to royal life. 

Before stepping down from his royal duties, Prince Harry was a distant fifth in line for the throne, so maybe royal circles decided it was better to focus their training efforts on someone more likely to be queen — like Kate, and of course, incoming Queen Mary. 

Feature image: Getty.