Split rumours rage as Princess Mary takes royal step up

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary have weathered a tumultuous year. Photo: Getty Images

It’s been a whirlwind 2019 for the Danish royal family, and no one more so than our own Princess Mary.

The Tasmanian-born Danish Princess took her royal duties to the next level this year after accepting the responsibility of being acting monarch in the event of Queen Margrethe’s absence, a huge jump for the woman who will one day be the queen in her own right.

Mary was announced as an official regent in October, meaning she is now able to act on behalf of Queen Margrethe II, who turns 80 this year. 

Rumours of ‘nights apart’ after royal appointment

It may be a step up for Mary, but since the exciting news was revealed, she and husband Prince Frederick have weathered non-stop split speculation. Now recent rumours, and a stretch of solo appearances from the duo have again kicked things up a notch or two.

Rumours of nights apart are dogging the royal duo. Photo: Getty Images

The latest whispers of unrest within the palace come from reports the pair are ‘spending nights apart’, which a source apparently told Woman’s Day.

“It doesn’t bode well for Mary, given there have been a lot of rumours in Denmark that they’re spending nights apart,” the source reportedly said.

“The word going around is that he has some kind of bachelor pad close by that he runs off to when things are getting unbearable between them.”

However, the fact that Mary is very much taking centre stage within the royal family of late with an ever-growing royal presence, does little to convince of any truth to the rumours.

Mary front and centre of royal family online

The Aussie royal is front and centre when it comes to the family’s online presence, her image regularly peppering Instagram feeds, and cropping up at major events.

A quick glance at the Danish royal Instagram shows Mary front and centre. Photo: Instagram/ detdanskekongehus

In the wake of her huge promotion to official regent, Mary has even been sent on international tours solo, while Frederick holds down the fort back in Denmark, hardly the decision a couple on the rocks would make, or have made for them.

Of course, perspective is the real king here, and some have argued Mary and Frederick’s separation is less about gearing up the mum of four for her life as queen, and more about giving the two space from their marriage.

The pair were last seen at a public event together in Poland in November. Since then Mary’s Indonesian tour has had the internet buzzing, with visits to local schools, dignitaries, and the Indonesian royal family featuring prominently on the Danish family’s channels.

Mary visited a community health centre in Yogyakarta, Indonesia as part of her royal tour of Indonesia. Photo: AAP

Meanwhile, Frederik has been home in Denmark, most recently spotted at a sports technology event.

Mary and Fred divorce unlikely

Despite the pair spending time doing separate activities, the true likelihood of a divorce, even if there is any substance to rumours of tension, is extremely low.

The pair are committed parents to their four children, Prince Christian, 13, Princess Isabella, 11, and seven-year-old twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, and will likely want to work through things for the kids.

Mary and Frederik are committed to their four children. Photo: Getty Images

Additionally, Mary’s promotion to the unofficial face of the royal family comes after an intense feud between Frederik and his brother  Prince Joachim of Denmark was exposed and the family is likely to be avoiding further drama like the plague.

A rocky family history to contend with

The brothers have reportedly long been at loggerheads, with tensions appearing to reach an all-time high earlier this year when the younger sibling relocated his family overseas.

So intense was their rivalry that at one point Frederik and Joachim’s wives, Aussie-born Princess Mary and Princess Marie respectively, reportedly weighed in.

The family is sure to be desperately avoiding the publicity of the brother’s feud, and the possibility that the pair’s relationship will mimic that of Frederik’s parents, Queen Margrethe, and her late husband Prince Henrik.

The Danish royal family have weathered plenty of family drama already. Photo: Getty Images

The pair had a fractured relationship that often made headlines and saw the prince refuse to be buried alongside his wife.

Though no public spats have officially been seen between the pair, we can only hope the extended absence is a product of their unity, rather than a desperate attempt to mend a deteriorating situation.

It’s not the first time rumours of unrest have dogged the couple, and leading into Christmas the whispers always tend to increase in volume.

Ongoing rumours of martial unrest

Last December similar reports circled around the couple’s status going into the festive season.

“There are a lot of rumours of tension between Mary and Fred,” an insider told New Idea last year.

At the time it was reported the 47-year-old was feeling the strain of additional royal duties after her father-in-law passed away earlier that year, and this year it is her newfound responsibility that is being used to justify the unconfirmed and largely unfounded rumours.

There have, however, been reports that the Aussie mum has been suffering from homesickness that could account for any real strain the monarch-to-be might be feeling.

‘Devastated’ Mary unable to come home

The Aussie-born mum was reportedly devastated upon learning that she won’t be returning home to Australia with her family for the festive season. 

In 2017, Mary and her kids, Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent were all spotted enjoying a dip in the ocean in Palm Beach. 

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has put a brave face forward after an Australian Christmas was ruled out. Photo: Getty Images

The family was joined by Princess Mary’s best friend and bridesmaid, Amber Petty on the day. 

Though it may seem like a classic compromise for an ex-pat, Mary’s heartache hints at a changing norm going forward.

As her role as future Queen of Denmark gets closer by the day, it’s likely that her jaunts overseas to her native country will become less frequent, making each missed opportunity a little harder.

The fairytale romance we fell in love with

It seems impossible such unrest is following the royal couple after their fairytale romance captured the world and Mary’s home country in particular.

Mary Elizabeth Donaldson and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark announced their engagement on October 8, 2003. Photo: Getty Images

The pair met during the Sydney Olympics in 2000, at Sydney’s Slip Inn.

Mary, then an advertising account manager, was 28 years old at the time, while Frederik was 31.

They secretly long distance before going public in 2001, announcing their engagement in 2003.

The pair tied the knot in a lavish ceremony that made international headlines in 2004.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Crown Prince Frederik tied the knot on 14 May 2004. Photo: Getty Images

With additional reporting by Sarah Carty and Gillian Wolski.

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