Aussies have called on Princess Mary of Denmark to make a decision ahead of the Danes’ World Cup battle with the Australia-born royal’s Matildas next week.
Tony Gustavsson’s side are aiming to reach the quarter finals of this year’s tournament but will face a stern test in Denmark, who booked their place in the last-16 on Tuesday after beating Haiti 2-0.
Millions of fans Down Under will be watching with bated breath, and 16,000km away in Copenhagen, Princess Mary, 51, may feel torn as two nations close to her heart go head-to-head.
The royal – formerly known as Mary Donaldson – grew up in Tasmania and spent 28 years of her life in Australia before she moved to the Scandinavian nation and married Frederik – Denmark’s future king – at Copenhagen Cathedral in 2004.
They first met at a Sydney bar while watching the city’s Olympics in 2000; then an advertising executive, Mary, spent hours chatting to the heir to the Danish throne.
Sunrise duo Natalie Barr (left) and Matt Shirvington (right) have called on Princess Mary to back the Matildas next Monday night
Princess Mary is married to the future king of Denmark, Prince Frederik (left)
More than two decades later, the couple, who share four children, are living proof that fairytales can come true.
But Aussies have demanded that the Danish royal nails her colours the mast ahead of Monday’s game in Sydney, with Sunrise presenters Matt Shirvington and Natalie Barr leading the calls on Wednesday.
‘What we do know is there will be some very anxious Aussies watching that game – in particular one who will be torn as to who to barrack for, Australian-born Danish royalty Princess Mary,’ Sunrise reporter Georgia Chumbley said.
‘She’s previously faced discussions around this before when the men’s Socceroos faced Denmark last year in the Men’s World Cup.
‘But I think that maybe she’ll be barracking for Australia in her heart, but officially for Denmark.’
Unsatisfied with this, Shirvo and Nat urged Mary to ditch her adopted home for the Matildas.
‘Born and bred in Australia. Come on,’ Shirvo said. You’ve gotta go back to your roots.’
Nat added: ‘Yeah, Tassie girl. Yeah.’
But sport presenter Mark Beretta suggested that supporting the Aussies could lead to a tense atmosphere at home for Prince Frederik.
Princess Mary – formerly known as Mary Donaldson – is Australia-born and was raised in Tasmania before meeting her husband in a bar in Sydney
The Matildas are looking to advance to the World Cup quarter finals but face Denmark
The Crown Prince of Denmark and his sons fully support the Danish national team
‘He’ll be copping it for the next week or so,’ he said.
Shirvo responded: ‘When the Matildas win!’
Nat admitted that Mary could privately cheer on the Australian team.
‘I can see Mary sitting in one of the palaces screaming at the TV. Come on Aussie!’ she said.
The same question was raised during the men’s World Cup in Qatar last year, with Australia pitted against Denmark in the group stage of the tournament.
Princess Mary did not publicly pledge her support for the Socceroos back then, although Prince Frederik and their sons were pictured playing football in Denmark kits before the game, which Australia won 1-0.
After the Slip Inn encounter, a then 32-year-old Frederik – who was in Australia to support Denmark’s Olympic sailing team – asked Mary for her phone number and a romance blossomed.
‘The first time we met we shook hands. I didn’t know he was the prince of Denmark. Half an hour later someone came up to me and said, “Do you know who these people are”?’ Mary revealed in an interview about meeting the heir to the Danish throne.
They maintained a long-distance relationship for a year, with Frederik making secret trips Down Under before Mary moved to Denmark to study Danish language at Copenhagen’s Studieskolen in 2001.
Australia got one over the Danes at the men’s World Cup in Qatar last year
In early 2003, Frederik’s mother Queen Margrethe publicly acknowledged the relationship and the couple announced their engagement at Amalienborg Castle later that year on October 8.
‘From today, Mary is mine and I am hers,’ the prince said on their wedding day. ‘I love her and I will protect her with all my love.’
Ahead of the 2016 Olympics, she opened up on where her loyalties lie when she declared that she would support all Australian athletes, on one condition.
‘I’ll absolutely support Australians,’ Princess Mary told The Today Show. ‘So long as they’re not competing against a Dane.’