Princess Mary, future queen of Denmark, claimed by British newspapers as Scottish


When the couple were married in Our Lady’s Church, the Copenhagen Cathedral, in 2004, Mary’s father turned up wearing a Scottish kilt. He stressed her Scottish roots in his speech, claiming his own clan had once helped eject the Norse from the Hebrides, off the north-west coast of Scotland.


Mary, who was born and educated in Hobart, Tasmania, made her affinity to the land of her parents and grandparents clear through her official coat of arms, created when she married Frederik in 2004. It features specific heraldic symbols of Scotland (a black boat) and the MacDonald clan (an eagle).

Her father married the British crime novelist, Susan Moody, after the death of his wife. He was dean of the University of Tasmania, as well as a visiting professor at Oxford University.

Mary renounced her Australian and United Kingdom citizenship, acquired through her Scottish-born parents, when she married Frederik.

The Danish media, revelling in the international attention, has made it clear that Mary becomes the first Australian anywhere to become Queen – noting her supporters back home are delighted.

End of another royal era

If the royal news here in Copenhagen couldn’t get any bigger, another bombshell was announced on Tuesday: Mary’s hairdresser, Søren Hedegaard, will resign after 23 years in the post on January 14 – the day she becomes queen.

He has followed the couple through thick and thin, travelling with them on official visits abroad, and been behind Mary’s extravagant gala hairstyles at private and official events at home.

“It has been 23 fantastic and unforgettable years with memories and friendships that I will always carry in my heart. My life has always been colourful and changeable and will hopefully continue to be so in the years to come,” he wrote.

“On 14/1 2024 and after 23 years as HRH Crown Princess Mary’s hairdresser, I pass the baton on to the next generation.”

The 68-year-old said he’d now be investing his energy and passion towards his work as creative director at STUHR, one of Copenhagen’s premier salons. “My craft is my heart’s blood. Therefore, my job … is also the place where I will put all my energy and love for my profession in the future.”

Bookies not paying out “abdicate” bets

More than 300 Danes have been left grumbling after bookmaker Danske Spil said it would not be paying out for those who punted on Queen Margrethe abdicating on New Year’s Eve.

In Denmark, it is a tradition in many homes to guess what the queen says in her annual New Year’s speech, with the gambling company taking bets on hundreds of words or names. The favourite this year was the word “peace”.

The word abdicate was paying 15.00 Danish krone ($3.25) so if a punter put 100 krone on, they would have received 1500 krone ($325.35) if the queen mentioned the word.

The only problem? She didn’t say the actual word.

“We have many words that have had the same meaning,” Peter Emmike Rasmussen of Danske Spil (the national lottery) said. “And if we start paying out on this one, why shouldn’t we pay out on similar words that she came up with?

“We included ‘abdicate’ as one of the words you could play on, but that’s not what she said. She said something about ‘wanting to resign’. And we didn’t have it.” What word paid out the most? “Zelensky”, with the company paying more than 1 million kroner to the 1310 people who tipped it.

New ties to be built

Mary will also become queen of Greenland and the Faroe Islands on January 14 – a role that hasn’t always been easy going for the Danish monarchy.


Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark located in the North Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe, is the world’s largest island and mostly covered with ice, making it the least densely populated country in the world. It is home to fjords, icebergs, and glaciers, making it an attractive destination for tourists.

Greenland relies heavily on Denmark when it comes to finances and defence. A call by its then prime minister Kim Kielsen in 2019 for a new relationship between the two countries – he cited inequality, shipping routes and access to natural resources – led to increased calls for full independence among the people of Greenland.

Queen Margrethe maintained a close relationship with both territories, taking annual trips there on the royal yacht. Danish media have noted that her abdication was not mentioned in the Greenlandic or Faroese New Year’s speech.

Poul Krarup, the editor-in-chief of the Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq, said the island’s population was following the transition closely.

Coloured houses in Paamiut village, Sermersooq, Greenland.

Coloured houses in Paamiut village, Sermersooq, Greenland.Credit: Alamy

“The interesting thing is that, no matter how much Denmark has been scolded, it has never gone beyond the queen,” he said.

There is speculation that Mary will be sent on a charm offensive to the territories early on to ensure a strong relationship.

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