Excerpts from the interview in Ud & Se, October 2017.
Interviewer: Rune Skyum-Nielsen.
I will mainly focus on what Mary said about her self and her reflections on her life.
Note: Words in italic were said in English.
Right after the engagement and her new life as royal:
"When the engagement became official it was still so wild and new that I couldn't fathom it. I was so focused on doing it right and when you do that you also become insecure about yourself. Then you perhaps don't dare show that you can be a bit silly/goofy or... you know.
Because you don't dare step outside the box you end up showing a little more contro... or a more serious side of yourself".
Q: A more inhibited version?
M: "Yes, it doesn't become the whole picture. Today I'm more free to show who I am, but there is of course always a limitation, because you also have to preserve something about your person".
Q: Protect yourself?
M: "Yes. That you should also keep something to yourself. It's a big change to come to a new country, it takes time to find your place, to find yourself in the whole thing".
Q: So it's been an adjustment-case with the great focus on You?
, Yes. Or... perhaps not God
, but Gud (DK for God), yes".
M: "I'm not the type of person, where you get the whole story when you meet me. I'm no open book. There are some things you have to speculate about".
Mary explains that since childhood she has always felt for those who stood alone, were outsiders and alone, perhaps because she has always felt a sense of belonging.
In regards to the Mary Foundation, Mary describes herself as a "working chairman of the board" - who is involved in the details.
Q: Can the Foundation also be seen as Your attempt to update the way to run a royal house? It's after all an old institution.
M: "Here I will suffice to say that I'm very pleased that I've been allowed to find my own way as Crown Princess. But just like other families I don't outline the family on my own. All family members outline the DRF".
The interviewer observes about Mary's Danish that she speaks "rigsdansk" (equivalent to BBC newsreader English, certainly beforehand.) That she has no dialect. (I agree. Her children speak with a very clear Copenhagener sound, while Frederik is much more neutral. QMII's Danish is somewhat posh. Yet, no one would for many moments mistake Mary for someone coming from Jutland of Funen.)
Sometimes she puts the order of the words in the English manner. But over the hours the interview lasts he finds that very little she says can be misunderstood.
The interviewer observes that Mary has a tendency to sit very upright.
And that she has an excellent ability to make otherwise vulnerable and perhaps introvert people feel at ease and open up.
Mary is Australian, but she is also very much influenced by Scotland.
Her parents were arch-Australians who adapted to their new country, yet her father speaks with a heavy Scottish accent. "At New Year, which is the biggest of all parties in Scotland, we all stood together in a certain way with crossed arms and sang Auld Lang Syne (*), when it was midnight. So yes, I've experienced that duality in my life".
Mary's work is very varied, to that she says: "You can say that I have a very versatile job. Beforehand when there was a state visit it would take more effort from than it does today".
M: "Because I... Because I know the ropes
better. It's not because I'm less prepared now but it takes less of my energy. I don't have to put a question mark on every single item on the agenda. Not like I did beforehand".
Q: Can Your friends comprehend the huge change You have been through?
M: "Yes, because after all they still meet Mary. It's just in different surroundings now. I believe we as humans are good at adapting. But of course it is far out to contemplate when you start from where I grew up till today where I sit here and speak with You. But because things happen one step at a time it becomes understandable".
(*) Should Auld Lang Syne is also used here in DK. Mostly beforehand and within the workers movements, the unions and the Social Democratic party. Very often in connection with funerals.
People cross arms like in the Scottish tradition, while they sing about old friendships. And if it is to be done completely in line with the traditions the tune is played on a saw and the lyrics are always in dialect. It's also sung in a more slow speed than the original.