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Why Princess Mary’s dad won’t attend coronation



Princess Mary of Denmark

Princess Mary of Denmark is set to create a historic moment on Sunday as the first Australian to ascend a European throne. However, there’s a poignant reason why her father won’t be present to witness this significant event.


John Donaldson will be absent during this momentous occasion, most likely observing from the comfort of his home in Australia.

Although Mary shares a close bond with her 82-year-old father, his age and health prevent him from making the journey, as stated by Lene Balleby, the head of communications for the Danish royal family, in remarks to local media.

This marks the second time in recent years that Mr. Donaldson has missed a major royal event due to health reasons. He was unable to attend the confirmation of Princess Isabella, the eldest daughter of Mary and Prince Frederik, in 2022.

Reflecting on her father’s absence during the confirmation, Mary expressed, “Unfortunately, my father is not coming. He is getting to be an elderly gentleman and he is not well enough to take the long trip back to Denmark for a confirmation, but he is with us in our hearts.”


Mr. Donaldson, who resided in Denmark for several years with his second wife, British author Susan Moody, had a teaching career at both Aarhus and Copenhagen universities.

Mary’s mother, Henrietta Donaldson, passed away from a heart condition in 1997, three years before her daughter met Prince Frederik, who is set to become King Frederik X of Denmark on Sunday.

In lieu of her father’s presence at the coronation, Mary will be accompanied by her older sister, Jane Stephens, who will travel from Hobart for the occasion. The sisters are believed to have maintained a strong bond throughout the 20 years Mary has lived in Denmark as royalty.

Ms. Stephens previously served as a bridesmaid at Mary’s wedding to Frederik in 2004, alongside their other sister Patricia and Mary’s friend Amber Petty. She is also the godmother to Mary and Frederik’s eldest son, Prince Christian, who will be next in line to the throne following his father’s ascension.

In past statements, Ms. Stephens has expressed her belief that their late mother would be immensely proud of Mary’s accomplishments.

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