Crown Princess Mary of Denmark faced terrible heartache at the age of 26 when her beloved mother Henrietta Norton passed away from a heart condition. The princess has revealed that the loss made her a stronger person and now she wants to support others going through the same experience.
Mary made the comments during a visit to the organization Children, Youth and Mourning, which offers free expert advice to children who have lost parents, siblings or close family members.
The 44-year-old shared her experiences with Mads Knudsen Topp, a 15-year-old who has been helped by the organization since the death of his father three years ago.
"I was 26. It happened too early," Mary said of her mother's death, adding: "It's so hard to see when it is so close and so personal, but as you get older, you learn to appreciate the time you had together as a gift. And the loss offers something that you wouldn't have otherwise. It makes a strong person."
It is not the first time Princess Mary has opened up about her life-changing loss; speaking in an interview with Danish TV and radio station DR in 2015, she admitted she "felt alone" while she grieved her mother's death.
"I felt alone in my pain," Mary revealed. "As if nobody understood what I was going through and I had come to a standstill while the whole world around me kept moving forwards."
"I would have liked to have spent more time with her," added Mary.
The princess' mother passed away two years before Mary met her future husband Frederik at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. The pair quietly dated before marrying in 2004.
Henrietta did not have the chance to see her daughter Mary – who has four children including young twins Vincent and Josephine – embark on her charmed life in Denmark, and become one of the country's most popular royals.
Mary added of her mom's death: "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."