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DenmarkEuropean Royals

How Crown Princess Mary turned the Mary Foundation into a vital organisation

Crown Princess Mary founded the Mary Foundation with a 1.1 million kroner gift from a wedding fund in 2004, raised by the people of Denmark and Greenland. In that time, Mary has used her influence and profile to support and raise awareness for important causes in Denmark.

In 2006, Mary had the idea for the foundation and officially launched it in 2007 based on the overarching theme of social work running throughout her patronages. The Mary Foundation website states that the Mary Foundation was founded on the premise that “social isolation in particular often proves to be one of the key causes behind the problems. Inspiration has also been sourced from like-minded foundations around the world.”

The Mary Foundation’s mission statement is: “To improve the lives of children, adults and families who – as a result of their environment, heredity, illness or other circumstances – find themselves socially isolated or excluded from society. The foundation aims to fulfil its objective by creating opportunities for these individuals and giving them a sense of affiliation and of belonging to a community. Furthermore, the foundation undertakes to encourage tolerance and understanding of diversity and to create hope.”

Crown Princess Mary during her work with the Mary Foundation. Photo: Steen Brogaard/Mary Foundation

To fulfil these aims, the Mary Foundation focuses on three key areas: bullying and well-being, domestic violence, and loneliness.

Key projects of the Mary Foundation include Free of Bullying, which is used in 40% of nurseries, 60% of preschools, and 45% of primary schools/after school clubs in the country. The Mary Foundation has also distributed more than 28,000 backpacks to children arriving at women’s shelters with their mothers; and has helped women receive financial and social advice with the Advice for Life project, a legacy project of the Mary Foundation that is now separately operational.

Steen Brogaard/Mary Fonden

Other projects supported by the Mary Foundation include Antibulli Swimming, which works to prevent bullying in children’s swimming; LæseLeg, which strengthens children’s language and self-confidence by involving them in reading activities; Me & We, which teaches children how to be part of a community; Together Without Violence, which works to detect violence among pregnant women and couples and gives them the tools to leave that life behind; School Strength, which works with schools to prevent bullying and promote well-being; and Antibulli Football, which aims to prevent bullying in children’s football.

To date, the capital stock in the Mary Foundation is around 220 million kroner but is left untouched. The total annual return is used to support projects within the Mary Foundation’s purview.

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.