Brisbane (Agencies): The fairy tale rise of an Australian sales executive to the upper ranks of European royalty is set to be completed later this month when Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark becomes the country’s Queen Consort.

The final stretch of Mary’s path from Tasmania to the Danish throne was cleared on New Year’s Eve by the surprise abdication of Queen Margrethe II, who announced that she will be stepping down on January 14.

It’s an exceedingly rare move in Denmark, where a monarch hasn’t abdicated since 1146 when King Eric III gave up the crown to join a monastery, according to the Royal House.

Margrethe’s eldest son, Crown Prince Frederik, will become King, while his wife, Crown Princess Mary, will become the first Australian to become Queen, a development that has delighted her supporters back home.

For many of Mary’s Australian admirers, it’s a fitting finale to a romance that famously began in a rowdy Sydney pub around the time of the Olympics in 2000.

As the story goes, the two locked eyes in the Slip Inn, considered an unlikely place to find a Danish royal, much less the origins of a couple who would later become Denmark’s future King and Queen.

Millions watched the couple get married in 2004. Two decades later, their ascension to the throne is expected to captivate audiences worldwide – from Copenhagen to the Tasmanian capital of Hobart, where Mary was born.

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