Denmark Embraces the Lone Star State With a Royal Flair
BY SHELBY HODGE
After a swing through Austin where she met with Governor Greg Abbott and took the stage at a SXSW presentation, Her Royal Highness, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark created a flurry of excitement in Houston’s petite Danish community and beyond as celebrations spread from the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
The striking 47-year-old princess accompanied a cultural and trade mission promoting in both cities Danish businesses, specializing in green energy and life science, and spotlighting Danish Culture. According to the Royal Watcher blog, she began her Austin visit at a “Women in Leadership & How to Inspire the Next Generation of Women Leaders” breakfast event, followed by a tour of the SXSW festival, a Danish Gastronomy event, a meeting with the governor, two performances, and a reception at the House of Scandinavia, where she gave a speech.
In Houston, her activities included a ribbon-cutting at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, inaugurating the “Statecraft: Selections from the Jewelry Collection of the Danish Arts Foundation” exhibition; a meeting with Mayor Sylvester Turneracknowledging the “Resilient Cities Collaboration” between Houston and Denmark; and a private/invitation-only black-tie dinner at the MFAH.
Crown Princess Mary was accompanied in her sojourn by Danish Ambassador Henrik B. Hahn, Denmark’s Minister for Culture Mette Bock, chairman of the Danish Arts Foundation Michael Bojesen, Vice Consul and Cultural Attaché Maiken Tandgaard Derno, Danish Arts Foundation Advisor Sign Marie Jacobsen, Danish Consul General Jacob Vind, Honorary Consul Anna Thomsen Holliday and Danish jewelry artistJanne K. Hansen.
Once upon a time, the princess attended Clear Lake City Elementary School (1974-75) while her Scottish father, John Dalgleish Donaldson, a professor of applied mathematics, worked at the Johnson Space Center. Within a year, the family moved back to their home in the Australian state of Tasmania.
Among those greeting the princess at the HCCC gathering were craft center executive director Perry Price, HCCC board president Phyllis Childress, Anne Kinder, Judy Nyquist, Victoria and Marshal Lightman, Kathryn Rabinow, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Jerry Schultz, Geri Hooks, Edward Lane McCartney and David Gooding.