Crown Princess Mary of Denmark was just 26-years-old when her mother, Henrietta Norton passed away from a heart condition on 20 November 1997. She recently comforted a 15-year-old girl named Mads Knudsen Topp, who lost her father three years ago. Mads has been receiving help from the Children, Youth and Mourning organisation, which focuses on giving advice to children who have lost a parent, sibling, and other close family members.
Mary told Mads, “I was 26. It happened too early. It’s so hard to see when it is so close and so personal.”
She added, “But as you get older, you learn to appreciate the time you had together as a gift. And that’s something you wouldn’t have otherwise. It makes a strong person.”
Mary has opened up about the significant loss of her mother only a couple of times before including to Danish tv station DR and Australian Women’s Weekly.
After the Australian-born royal lost her mother in her mid-twenties, she has made it a point to support other young people who have lost parents at such a pivotal point in their lives. Her comments extend beyond the people she speaks with person to person. Her words are comforting for people all over the world, especially those who have lost a parent so suddenly like myself. At times, children and adults can feel alone and things will never be fully the same again after suffering the loss of such an important person in their lives.
Hearing Mary explain to DR that she also felt alone during her pain can help so many going through similar situations. The Crown Princess has said that she felt that no one understood what she was going through, and “I had come to a standstill while the whole world around me kept moving forwards.”
Mary echoed the feelings of all who have lost a mother so young saying, “I would have liked to have spent more time with her.”
For many, hearing these words from the Crown Princess comforts them and helps them to know that eventually, things will be alright once again. Although the pain is so very strong, for the time being, you will be able to move forward and be happy again.
Through The Mary Foundation, which she founded in 2007, Her Royal Highness supports those who have suffered from bullying, domestic violence, and loneliness. The Crown Princess was, no doubt, inspired by her own suffering from loneliness after losing her mother so suddenly in 1997.
Regarding loneliness, Mary has said in the past, “When you feel alone, you feel as if you don’t belong anywhere like you’re alone in the world. It’s a real and big problem that’s gone unnoticed, so I’m glad that it’s drawing some attention now. There’s still a lot of taboo around it, it’s an issue we have to talk about.” Her Royal Highness wants people to reach out, recognise those suffering from this and help them where they can.
Her strength and openness reflect the loss she had suffered in her mid-twenties. She’s a dedicated mother to her four children: Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent, and Princess Josephine, who knows that time can be so very short. It is so important to spend time with the ones you love and let them know just how much they mean to you because you never know what tomorrow will hold.
Authors Note: On 9 January of this year, my mother lost her battle with bulbar ALS, after a very courageous fight. She showed immense strength, love, and faith during her battle and never asked why she had to suffer. Losing her when I was just 24-years-old has made me see things differently. You must enjoy the time you have with those you care about, let them know, and always live life to the fullest. Hearing words like those mentioned above by people like Crown Princess Mary, Prince William, and Prince Harry help to know that we can get through this difficult time and be alright once again. To Crown Princess Mary, thank you for your work for those suffering from loneliness and bereavement. Your grace, strength, and caring nature help so many more people than you realise.