Crown Princess Mary in Rio for the Olympics: ‘it’s so exciting when the Games start’

While Prince William and Kate Middleton and Princess Charlene have decided to skip the Rio Olympics, Crown Princess Mary has not. She and Crown Prince Frederik, who is a member of the International Olympic Committee, are in Rio for the Olympics, which start on Friday. While in Rio, Mary spoke to the Daily Mail about her thoughts on the Games.

Mary in Rio with Lego

Mary was visiting the Institute for Child Development in Rio where she presented children with boxes of Lego when she spoke to the Mail about the Olympics:

    “It’s been a very positive experience like the trips we’ve had to Brazil with Danish business delegations and so forth. And it has also been great to see the beautiful country, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, that Brazil is. We do have a lot of expectations for the Olympics – it’s so exciting when the Games start, so I’m looking forward to Friday [opening ceremony]. We’re looking forward to following the Danish athletes of course, but as well all the athletes of the world and the amazing performances they’ll put in.
    “I’ll absolutely support Australians so long as they’re not competing against a Dane. But it would be great to get gold [for the Danes] and silver [for the Australians].”

Mary declined to comment on the Zika virus, but an aide said: “Yes, we thought about it [Zika] but life must go on and the Olympics are important. The Crown Prince [Frederik] is the head of the [Danish] Olympic delegation after all.”

The Danish government donated 5,000 sets of Lego (which is a Danish-owned business) to impoverished schools in Rio as part of the legacy Escolas de Amanha project. Mary sat down with the kids while they played, and she had this to say:

    “I don’t know how much exposure they had to it [the Lego] before but they just go straight to building, using it. I mean there’s an instructions book saying here’s step one, step two, step three, step four but they’re more interested in making their own stuff out of it and that’s what Lego is all about. Building your own world.”

[Daily Mail]

I hate to be mean, but, um, duh! Lego is pretty intuitive and, yeah, you just start building. That’s the beauty of Lego. None of this crazy sets with lots of directions, just grab some Lego and play.

On August 1, Frederik and Mary attended the opening ceremony of the 129th International Olympic Committee session.

Mary’s dress is from Burberry Prorsum‘s AW14 collection and her bag is Bottega Veneta.

The Crown Prince couple were joined by Prince Joachim, Princess Marie, Prince Nikolai, Prince Felix, Prince Henrik, and Princess Athena at the opening of the Danish Pavilion, named Heart of Denmark. The Pavilion will be use to promote Danish businesses, sports and culture and will host a number of culinary, sporting and musical events throughout the games. More photos at the Daily Mail.

Mary wore a blue A.P.C. Bellona Linen and Cotton Skirt (currently $141) and a white blouse.

A photo posted by DET DANSKE KONGEHUS (@detdanskekongehus) on

50 Comments on Crown Princess Mary in Rio for the Olympics: ‘it’s so exciting when the Games start’

  1. EL
    August 4, 2016 at 1:53 am (10 months ago)

    I love that they managed to include charity work and promoting Danish interests with an Olympic visit. Well done to the Danish royal family!

    • Birdy
      August 4, 2016 at 2:32 am (10 months ago)

      I totally agree EL. Will and Kate would have just make it about having fun, these two find ways to incorporate charity work, work with the business delegation and of course having fun.
      And the Lego thing? I’m with Mary. Easy to say duh it’s obvious if you’re a first world child, but some of these kids may never have had toys like that before. Either way it’s great that they have the Lego, it’s one of the greatest and timeless toys around IMO.

      • katemiddletonreview
        August 4, 2016 at 2:43 am (10 months ago)

        To clarify, I didn’t mean “duh” to the children, I meant “duh” to Mary’s comment because I was surprised she was so surprised that the kids knew how to play with Lego so quickly. Lego really is intuitive and even if you’ve never seen it before you kind of know what to do with it. I had a conversation about how intuitive Lego is with a friend just a few weeks ago. We both agreed that Lego is the best because you don’t need instructions to figure out how to play with it – you just play. You give any kid anywhere in the world Lego and they’re going to know what to do with it and have fun. You don’t need huge playsets with instructions because building your own thing was more fun. That’s why I said “duh” to Mary’s comment: I was surprised at her seeming surprise. My “duh” was in no way intended to insult the kids.

        ETA: I can understand where you’re coming from, though. I may be giving Lego too much credit. For me, when I got Lego the first time I just played with it and didn’t need the instructions, but yes I am a first world child, so maybe kids in other countries would need instructions. I know not every toy that is so ingrained in my US culture is so well-known in other countries – like Play-Doh for instance – but I would assume that once the kids got the toy they would figure out how to play with it pretty quickly even if they’d never seen it before.

        • Cat
          August 4, 2016 at 2:55 am (10 months ago)

          Agreed!

        • Kristin
          August 4, 2016 at 3:58 am (10 months ago)

          Agreed. Lego seems intuitive and without needed instructions you can just play…
          but I also remembered my little nephew and he was more like “okay you built it for me and I play with it afterwards” not getting that building is a part of the game, and while some strictly follow instructions, others seem to ignore them totally and build there own right away… maybe she is more used to kids who follow instructions or that it is more how we, being used to lego, use it (?)
          Anyway at the end it’s important that the kids had fun and will continue to have fun with their new toys.

          • katemiddletonreview
            August 4, 2016 at 4:46 am (10 months ago)

            Lol, you’re nephew is hilarious.

          • mary elizabeth
            August 4, 2016 at 10:13 am (10 months ago)

            I don’t think Kristin’s nephew is hilarious. I think he watched her build and then had the confidence to do it himself later. Why hilarious, if I may ask?

            I would also like to add — as already mentioned –, it was nice that the Danish Royals included some charitable efforts into their visit to the Games.

        • Cathy
          August 4, 2016 at 8:11 am (10 months ago)

          Was that comment made in English then translated to Danish and then back into English? That could be why it sounds stiff?

          • katemiddletonreview
            August 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm (10 months ago)

            No. The comment was made in English to a British reporter and published in English on a British website.

        • Ecelos
          August 4, 2016 at 12:17 pm (10 months ago)

          If anything, kids in the third world countries are used to making anything into a toy, so I would expect them to need instructions the least

          • rhiannon
            August 4, 2016 at 1:28 pm (10 months ago)

            When I studied in Ghana, I saw little boys make trumpets out of reeds and grass. It was an amazing site to see.

          • Lauren
            August 5, 2016 at 7:23 am (10 months ago)

            I remember as a child I used to pick the hollow branches of certain shrubs and used them as straws to make soap bubbles. That was part of the fun, it’s a pity now that most children spend all day playing video games and not outside discovering the world. But yeah I agree that children in third world countries can make anything into a toy.

      • lyme
        August 5, 2016 at 9:53 am (10 months ago)

        I don’t think children from any world take much time reading the instructions when they receive a toy!!

  2. RT
    August 4, 2016 at 3:04 am (10 months ago)

    The Danish royals always have the right balance between duty, charity, business and fun!

  3. Kristin
    August 4, 2016 at 3:42 am (10 months ago)

    Oh I loved Lego as a kid, first you built it according to instructions and then whatever you want and combine different sets… good times.

    And of course it’s quite smart to combine business and charity like that – happy kids, promotion for lego and great looking Royals.

    • LizB
      August 4, 2016 at 4:54 am (10 months ago)

      That’s how I always played with my Lego sets – build according to instructions first, then take them apart and then go crazy freestyle 🙂

  4. Oz Shan
    August 4, 2016 at 4:57 am (10 months ago)

    One can only assume that any of the Royal ladies in Rio are not planning of adding to their families – personally I would have stayed home. The security aspects are below par as well. But as it is an event all the royals show up to it is not surprising that the Danes are in attendance. IMO Mary is unlikely to have too many divided loyalties as there are probably not too many events that Danes will compete against Aussies

    • Jen
      August 4, 2016 at 5:42 am (10 months ago)

      True. The Danes are more Winter Olympic people, aren’t they? Still, Mary’s comment didn’t go down well on The Project (Aussie TV show) tonight. They also thought her accent now was somewhat affected. Ah, well…

      • Tanya S
        August 4, 2016 at 7:03 am (10 months ago)

        Ohhh I missed that tonight Jen but her comment did not go down well with me either. Not impressed at all by it.

        • Jen
          August 4, 2016 at 7:24 am (10 months ago)

          Hey Tanya! Hope all is well at the Post Office and Condobolin in general? You must have met the whole town by now.

          The Daily Mail has the video if you want to catch it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3722959/Princess-Mary-says-support-Australia-Rio-Olympics-long-not-versing-Danes.html
          The Project you can watch on tenplay: http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/the-project/2016/8/4

          For the non-Aussies here at KMR: Aussies do not diss Aussies if there is a better gig on. It’s unAustralian! In all seriousness, Mary’s thoughtless comment will cost her some goodwill here.

          • katemiddletonreview
            August 4, 2016 at 7:31 am (10 months ago)

            The Aussies aren’t funding her lifestyle, though. Mary picked the Danes over the Aussies since the Danes are the ones who fund her lifestyle.

        • Jen
          August 4, 2016 at 7:41 am (10 months ago)

          Hi KMR. Very true; I understand where her loyalties must lie these days. Mary’s comments rankled here this evening amongst commentators on news programmes. Better to be diplomatic and hope both countries do brilliantly, that they both occupy a place in her heart. In other words, have a bet each way. Mind you, Mary’s on a hiding to nothing supporting the Danes in the pool against the Aussies (chuckle).

          • katemiddletonreview
            August 4, 2016 at 7:54 am (10 months ago)

            I understand where you’re coming from. I actually do think Mary gave the most diplomatic answer she could. She said she’s supporting the Aussies whenever she can, and she hopes that even if they are up against a Dane that they at least get second. But she has to support the Danes since she is their Crown Princess and they fund her lifestyle. In the video, at least my reading of it, was that Mary did want to support the Aussies, but that she knew she had to say she was supporting the Danes first. But that’s just my reading.

          • Lauri from Ca
            August 4, 2016 at 8:21 am (10 months ago)

            I think Mary answered this no-win question rather well. Imagine Kate or William answering this question, just thinking about their responses makes me laugh!!

        • Birdy
          August 4, 2016 at 9:10 am (10 months ago)

          Why Tanya? She is CP of Denmark, if she didn’t say she wanted them to come first she would look very arrogant given their taxpayers are funding her lifestyle. I am with the group that think she gave a good answer. We have the issue here all the time with cricket. Do people of Indian/Pakistani/Sri Lankan ancestry support their old or new country?
          She didn’t say she wanted Aussies to do badly, in fact quite the opposite and I’m sure she’s quite aware that your athletes will do well (especially in the pool?).

          • Tanya S
            August 4, 2016 at 9:42 am (10 months ago)

            Hiya Birdy, as Jen said it is unAustralian to diss Other Aussies, but I also keep forgetting that she gave up her Aussie citizenship to become Danish when she married.

            It was a very diplomatic answer to the question though.

            Hopefully we do better in the pool this time than we did in Londin 😀😀

            Jen the PO is going well and I think we have met just about everyone here.

          • jenny
            August 4, 2016 at 10:18 am (10 months ago)

            Hi, Tanya, nice to see you on the blog, again. Glad all is going well for you and your family!!

          • Tanya S
            August 6, 2016 at 10:09 pm (10 months ago)

            Thanks Jenny, we had a sad week this week, we had to put our 14 year old cat to sleep. He was sick and in pain and we had to let him go.

            Other than that though everything is going well.

  5. Indiana Joanna
    August 4, 2016 at 6:18 am (10 months ago)

    Looks like Mary did a good job. Just can’t help comparing the Danish and Swedish royals with waity and wills during public appearances. Danes and Swedes have a well thought out purpose, a related articulate message, and interact confidently with people. The Cams are reluctant, hesitant and never have anything to say. If they show up that should be enough, according to the Cams. The Swedes and Danes look polished and pulled together, but not fussy. Waity always looks a bit scruffy and out of her depth even in expensive clothes. W&W are uncomfortable or irritable during appearances. The differences are really striking. Cams look and behave like dyspectic, spoiled adolescents. I doubt you’ll see the Danes and Swedes jostling each other for the prime position on a balcony.

    Harry and Sophie are two British royals who are poised and gracious during their engagements, which shows that some BR get it right.

  6. Jules
    August 4, 2016 at 9:10 am (10 months ago)

    I have to admit I would not go to the Olympics if I were still in my childbearing years. I definitely would not take my children. I guess the Lego gift is nice. They aren’t my favorite toy and the pink thing bothers me. I get they want Lego to appeal more to girls and that is good by making them pink and purple but that just promotes that girls only like those colors. Bleh! SO am I the only one bothered about her slip showing? If this were Kate criticism would be all over the place. Really? She knew she was going to be with kids and on the floor so she wore a white dress with a slip that peaks through?

    • Lauri from Ca
      August 4, 2016 at 10:13 am (10 months ago)

      Hi Jules, while I like the white dress, it doesn’t seem to be a good choice for playing on the floor with children and yeah, not great that her slip is showing. However, there are several times that I would have much rather seen Kate’s slip then her bare bum, so I guess my point is, at least Mary is wearing a slip. And I do like that she’s wearing flats for this event as opposed to 4 inch heels.

      • jenny
        August 4, 2016 at 10:21 am (10 months ago)

        Agree, Lauri. I’d much rather see Kate’s slip than the picture she normally shows us!
        Mary didn’t choose wisely with white. When getting down with the kids, it was not the best choice for her. Oh, well. I do like the fact that the Danish Royal Couple incorporated charitable acts with their attendance at the Olympics. No, I can’t imagine W and K doing that.

      • Charlotte
        August 4, 2016 at 4:35 pm (10 months ago)

        I almost clapped out loud when I saw that a) she wore flats and b) she kneeled down to the children’s height appropriately. None of that stand far away and lean over/down business that Kate does that makes her look so awkward and exposed.

    • Kristin
      August 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm (10 months ago)

      Actually I have to admit I didn’t realise that the slip was showing before you mentioned it so I hade to scroll up again and even though it shouldn’t have happened I would say there is a huge difference between seeing bit of her slip and seeing nearly all of Kate’s bum.
      And also there is more to focus on than clothes, flashing and whatever Kate normally does. We have happy kids, Royals doing actual work…

      • Charlotte
        August 4, 2016 at 4:36 pm (10 months ago)

        I didn’t see the slip either… Are we sure it’s not part of the skirt or even the hem of the skirt, or maybe the inner lining? It’s not glaringly obvious anyway. I’d have never noticed it because it looks like part of the dress to me. I’d take seeing a slip on Kate any day just to know she’s not going bare bum in her dresses.

    • katemiddletonreview
      August 4, 2016 at 1:57 pm (10 months ago)

      I actually didn’t see her slip showing. I didn’t take that good of a look at the photos.

      • JET Texas
        August 4, 2016 at 3:03 pm (10 months ago)

        I still don’t see it. In which photo can you see her slip?

        • katemiddletonreview
          August 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm (10 months ago)

          I guess it’s in the photos when she’s bending down with the kids. There is a line at the bottom of her dress where I guess the slip is peeking out.

  7. ABKM
    August 4, 2016 at 9:42 am (10 months ago)

    Fun fact: Lego is the world’s number one producer of tires!

  8. Lauri from Ca
    August 4, 2016 at 10:22 am (10 months ago)

    Thanks for the fun post KMR!!! It’s so great to see Mary and Fredrick at the Olympics, visiting athletes and touring the Danish pavilion.

    As I said above, I thought Mary answered that no-win question rather well. You just know that the DM reporter was kind of trying to stir things up with that question and I thought Mary handled it well.

    I am loving that blue skirt!!! Such a fresh, casual summer look and with the white blouse, perfection! And I really am liking the long shorts she wore to visit the swimmers, appropriate yet fun.

    I can’t fault the Cambridges or Harry for not attending these games. As they are all of childbearing ages it’s probably wiser not to take a chance. Plus, in light of the engagements they have been attending lately, this would have been one more vacation trip not an actual “work” trip.

    • katemiddletonreview
      August 4, 2016 at 2:07 pm (10 months ago)

      I don’t fault anyone for not attending these Games; I wouldn’t.

  9. Ray
    August 4, 2016 at 10:47 am (10 months ago)

    I thought Mary looked just lovely and well turned out in all of the pictures we see here. A very nice “package”, imo.

    And my thoughts on Lego…it’s all fun and games till you step on one in bare feet! My kids were never much into it, but I have a young nephew who is just obsessed with it. Look at Lego, still going strong. Sadly, the Lincoln Logs just couldn’t bridge the generation gap haha

    • fionamarie
      August 4, 2016 at 11:12 am (10 months ago)

      Oh, Ray, my husband and I know the pain of getting up in the middle of the night and stepping on a little lost Lego! Ouch!

      Our kid loved them, Just could never remember to put the unused ones away!!!

      A very nice gift for the kids. How kind of Mary to present them to the children in need.

    • Red Tulip
      August 4, 2016 at 12:23 pm (10 months ago)

      Yes Ray, the Danes need to create Lego resistant shoes or feet savers if you will. I step on plenty of them and it’s a white hot flash of pain, 😂😂😂😂

      Something always new to learn from this blog. Didn’t know that Lego was a Danish creation.

      • MsMumrik
        August 5, 2016 at 5:15 pm (10 months ago)

        Fun fact: the name Lego comes from the Danish ‘leg godt’, which roughly translated means something like ‘have a nice time playing’ (Danish KMRists, please correct me if my translation is off).

        First time commentor, long(ish) time follower here. Had to get involved in the discussion as Danish and other Nordic languages & cultures are my favourite subject 🙂

    • katemiddletonreview
      August 4, 2016 at 2:06 pm (10 months ago)

      I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid!!! My kindergarten had a set and loved playing with them.

    • JET Texas
      August 4, 2016 at 3:02 pm (10 months ago)

      Yes, the world’s most popular toy is quickly followed by the world’s most common injury: Lego foot. I’ve done it myself many times. But I love Lego with a passion. It is a universal toy. But I hate how they gender-colored it.

    • Szolo
      August 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm (10 months ago)

      Now I really feel old ancient. Legos weren’t sold in the US when I was a kid. Tinkertoys and Lincoln Logs were favorites, though. Ah, but I did leave my jacks on the kitchen floor one night for my father to step on. Never ever did that again. Poor man.

  10. Birdy
    August 4, 2016 at 12:10 pm (10 months ago)

    I like the white it is fresh and summery and she probably sends things to be cleaned each time she’s worn them so it doesn’t matter if they get dirty. She’s quite happy to get down with the kids, she’s not being precious in her white.
    Going back to the Aussie argument I really don’t see how you say she ‘disses’ the Aussies. I think she is proud to be an Aussie and will be cheering them on.
    As an off topic comment I’m really disappointed Andy Murray is carrying our flag. I think it should go to someone for whom the Olympics is the very pinnacle of their sport. Not true for tennis or indeed golf. Of course he famously said he would rather ‘anybody but the English’ won the football World Cup .

  11. Jill
    August 4, 2016 at 4:40 pm (10 months ago)

    CP Mary is is second fav Royal, behind Sophie. My husband happens to be Danish, but I loved CP Mary before we even met. I was so excited to get to visit some of the palaces when we visited his family last year. Thanks for this great post!