10 MARCH 2005

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To say Princess Mary got a rapturous welcome upon her return to Tasmania would be an understatement. A huge crowd of well-wishers, along with leading politicians and community leaders, turned out to greet the pretty royal when she arrived back in her hometown of Hobart on Thursday morning.

Mary was serenaded by the Derwent Valley Concert Band, which played at her wedding last year, when she stepped out of an Australian Air Force jet and onto the tarmac. She could barely have heard the music, though, because hundreds of children from a local primary school were cheering for all they were worth.

Crown Prince Frederik stood back to let his wife, a picture of 1950s glamour in a gold and silver embroidered jacket with chic hat, accept the adulation. The moment had been a long time coming - the people of Tasmania have been looking forward to Mary's homecoming ever since she made her vows last May.

The couple's arrival in Hobart marks the final stop of a week-long tour of Australia. Their official engagements will come to a sweet end tomorrow, when they attend the Save The Children Chocolate Lovers charity ball, but they are then planning to stay on for a private holiday. Mary's fellow Tasmanians, meanwhile, are just happy to have their favourite daughter back for a few days.

princess mary,prince frederik

Mary as elegant as ever for her homecoming. She and Frederik plan to stay on for a private holiday after they conclude the official tour tomorrow
Photo: AFP
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Hundreds of well-wishers were there to welcome her. Hobart has been looking forward to the visit ever since the royal wedding last May
Photo: AFP

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