THE CARLTON Football Club can now lay claim to the patronage of Australia’s first European Monarch, the recently-crowned Queen consort of Denmark.
Queen Mary, born Mary Elizabeth Donaldson in the historic Tasmanian suburb of Battery Point, is a Carlton supporter, having regularly attended matches at Princes Park when she was domiciled in Melbourne in the mid-late 1990s – a fact she later revealed to the then Premier Steve Bracks during her six-day royal visit in March 2005.
While it is unsure if she supported the club as a child, the future Queen’s presence at the old Carlton ground on matchdays followed her graduation from the University of Tasmania in the Premiership year of 1995, when she made the move across Bass Strait to the mainland to pursue a career in advertising.
According to Wikipedia, she became a trainee in marketing and communications (and later account executive) with the Melbourne office of DDB Needham, and in 1996 joined Mojo Partners.
In 1998, six months after her mother’s death, she resigned and travelled to America and Europe.
On her return two years later, during the 2000 summer Olympics, she was introduced to the future King Frederik X over a few convivial ales at the Slip Inn (formerly the Royal George Hotel, now El Loco) in the Sydney inner city suburb of Surry Hills.
In 2005, The Age reported that the then Women of Carlton President Judy Mullen had arranged for a letter to be forwarded to Princess Mary inviting her to take on the role of the Club’s international ambassador. The letter was sent, but never found its intended recipient.
Now that the Princess is Queen it is unlikely protocol will allow her to accept any ambassadorial role, although she is expected to retain her involvement with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation as an international patron.