14 MARCH 2005

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A couple of friendly locals made quite an impression on Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria on the latest stage of her visit to Australia. The 27-year-old broke into a broad smile as she hugged some of the residents at Healsville Animal Sanctuary in Melbourne.

The future queen is well-accustomed to being received by top politicians and statesmen, but who better to welcome her on a trip Down Under than a baby koala bear and a young wombat? Victoria, who is currently promoting Swedish design in Australia, certainly seemed charmed by her furry friends.

The pretty royal had previously shown her playful side by joining in a game of bowls. She appeared to be having a little trouble mastering the sport, but that didn't stop her enjoying her afternoon at Prince's Park Bowling Club.

And the princess proved just as big a hit when she was interviewed by celebrity presenter Melissa Doyle on the popular breakfast show Sunrise. "She was absolutely wonderful," said the journalist afterwards. "She was exactly the kind of person you'd want to invite out with your friends."


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  • /2003/08/27/princessvictoria

The royal visitor embraces a baby wombat. She met the cuddly creature during a visit to Healsville Animal Sanctuary
Photo: AFP
Click on photos for gallery

Victoria also tried her hand at bowls. As things turned out the princess wasn't exactly a natural, but she was a big hit with the regulars at Prince's Park Bowling Club
Photo: Rex

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