“He didn’t really propose to her on the side of the road to Hobart Airport?”, I asked a couple of colleagues during the week. Both were Hobart born and bred, and in the 40-50 year age group. I figured they’d know.
Having seen only the last fifteen minutes or so of “Mary – The Making Of A Princess” last weekend, but having seen the fairly scathing coverage on Twitter (“They can never show this in Denamrk”), I was still keen to catch up with the tele-movie about the relationship between Crown Prince Fredrik of Denmark and Australia’s Mary Donaldson.
I’m not a monarchist. Quite the opposite. Though I do like the “celebrity of it all”, I think the concept of royalty is anachronistic. But I quite like the Scandinavian royals. They seem a little more “real” than our own “Australian” royal family, the English royal family. Recently for example I watched the wedding of Sweden’s Prince Carl Phillip, and I loved the imagery of the Queen nursing her grand children, and one of the princesses being heavily pregnant. Ten years ago I watched the wedding of of Mary and Fredrik, and remember the image of the Queen chewing gum (nicarettes?) and of Fredrik being close to tears. A long way from the lives of most people in the world, but still a little more realistic than our own.
As for the film? The film began with a slide saying that it was a dramatic recreation (or something like that), meaning there was probably lots of stuff that wasn’t true. It goes along at a good tele-movie pace, the acting is quite okay, and there was nothing terrible offensive about it. That said, I thought the characterisation of the Queen seemed a little harsh. Based on what I’ve seen on her being interviewed, I thought she seemed a little nicer in real life than was portrayed here. Although it’s nothing special, I found the film strangely compelling. Who can resist a love story between a “commoner” and a prince? :)
Unfortunately the film ended just before the wedding itself. “The budget probably couldn’t afford it”, a colleague joked. But I think it was wise. The actual wedding itself, the bit where Fredrik teared up, as he waited for Mary to arrive was really wonderful. And that’s why, though I’m a republic, I think If Australia HAD to have a royal family, I’d be happy with the Danes.
And did he really propose on the roadside? Yeah, apparently he did.