Who Beat Kate Middleton for 'Best Dressed Royal' Title? Meet Crown Princess Mary of Denmark!

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Who Beat Kate Middleton for 'Best Dressed Royal' Title? Meet Crown Princess Mary of Denmark!
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Crown Princess Mary in 2011

Kate Middleton has some fashion competition!

The Duchess of Cambridge finished second in a recent poll, leaving the title of "Best Dressed Royal" to Denmark's Crown Princess Mary. A single percentage point separated the two women, who were followed by Queen Rania of Jordan, Princess Letizia of Spain, and Princess Madeleine of Sweden.

Like Kate, Mary wears a mixture of designer labels and less expensive popular brands. She's also been known to "recycle" her clothes, a frugal and practical (and normal) approach that Kate is known for.

With the Duchess of Cambridge on maternity leave, keeping an eye on Crown Princess Mary may be an ideal way for royal watchers to get their fashion fix. Here are a few things you should know about the impeccably dressed future queen of Denmark.

1. Princess Mary's maiden name was Mary Elizabeth Donaldson. She was born February 5, 1972 in Hobart, Australia, on the island of Tasmania. Though she was born in Hobart, Mary's ancestry is Scottish. Both of her parents were born in Scotland, but emigrated to Australia in 1963. Mary is the youngest of their four children.

2. In 1994, Mary earned a Bachelor's degree in Commerce and Law from the University of Tasmania. She also received certificates from the Advertising Federation of Australia and the Australian Direct Marketing Association. Later, she completed a graduate program with the advertising agency DDB Needham.

3. After completing her education, Mary became a successful businesswoman in her own right. In addition to working for firms in Sydney and Melbourne, she worked as an advertising executive and project consultant for companies such as Rapp Collins Worldwide in Scotland and Microsoft Business Solutions in Denmark.

4. Mary met Crown Prince Frederik at the Sydney Olympics in October 2000. The two happened to cross paths at a hotel pub, where the prince simply introduced himself as "Fred." Mary later spoke about their first meeting, saying "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?'"

5. After a three-year courtship, the two became engaged, and they wed in May 2004 at Copenhagen Cathedral. Embracing her new life as Princess of Denmark, Mary wore a dress by Danish designer Uffe Frank, but carried a bouquet of eucalyptus as a homage to her Australian roots. Talk about a fairytale love story!

6. Though born a "commoner" like Kate, Mary officially became Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat upon her marriage. When her husband becomes king - following the death or abdication of his mother, Queen Margrethe II - Mary will automatically become Queen Consort of Denmark.

7. The couple welcomed their first child, Prince Christian, in 2005. Princess Isabella was born in 2007, followed by twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine in 2011. Christian follows his father as second in line to the throne of Denmark.

8. Since her marriage, Mary has worked alongside her husband to fulfill a variety of royal duties. In 2009, she visited Danish troops in Afghanistan, and she frequently represents the Danish royal family at international events, such as state visits, weddings, and the Olympics.

9. In addition to being patron of a large number of charities, the princess created an organization called the Mary Foundation, which supports victims of bullying, domestic violence, and social isolation.

10. Like the Duchess of Cambridge's outfits, Princess Mary's clothing is the subject of multiple blogs. While the "Kate effect" has been praised for boosting Britain's fashion industry and generating business for retailers, Mary's sartorial choices help to promote Danish designers, such as Malene Birger and Georg Jensen.

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