A new style of royal philanthropy

Jakob Thomsen

The Mary Foundation set up by the crown princess is adopting a catalytic approach to difficult social issues, writes Jakob Thomsen

When the Danish Crown Prince Frederik married Australian Mary Elizabeth Donaldson in 2004, the wedding presents included a 1.1 million kroner (£129,000) cheque from the people of Denmark and Greenland. This ‘people’s gift’ laid the cornerstone for a new type of royal philanthropy in Denmark, the Mary Foundation.

With the people’s donations and substantial grants from co-founders, including global companies such as Carlsberg and Lego, the Mary Foundation now has capital of 180 million Danish kroner (£21 million). Crown Princess Mary’s approach, public profile and popularity play an important part in the strategy and the tools available.

How it works

Next Special feature to read

Royalty and commoners in the Netherlands

Edwin Venema