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Princess Mary lifts spirits during UN visit to Mozambique

14 NOVEMBER 2012

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has completed a visit to Mozambique to promote a cause close to her heart. The royal was in the Southern African country to champion women's rights and gain field experience in her role as patron of the United Nations Population Fund – an agency dedicated to maternal health and motherhood in developing countries.

 

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From the moment Mary landed in the country's capital Maputo on Friday, she wasted no time connecting with local people on a personal level. The most touching moment of the tour came when she visited the Pedagogical University in Beira. In scenes that evoked Princess Diana's iconic visit to the Red Cross centre in Luanda, Mary showered her attention on one little boy, holding him aloft with delight.

Although the brunette's itinerary was packed into a few short days, her time there was thoughtfully planned and well spent. Frederik's wife put her field work into context, being briefed during meetings with Mozambican Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina and his health chief, Alexandre Manguene. 

 

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In the absence of her husband, Denmark's future queen was travelling with Danish development minister, Christian Friis Bach. As well as having their hearts stolen by Mary's little companion, they also inaugurated a woman's shelter in Beira. Mary delivered a speech before inspecting the centre and meeting with its residents.

During every other engagement in Mozambique, including a dance session with local children, the mother-of-four exuded charm, empathy and effortless elegance. She referenced her surroundings by wearing several capulana dresses – the vibrant, ethnic fabrics that are a staple of women's style in rural Mozambique. Although eye-catching, Mary's sartorial style was a small detail in what was a trip of much greater significance.

 

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The mother-of-four became patron of the United Nations' Population Fund back in 2010. Welcoming their royal ambassador at the time, the agency's Executive Director, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid said: "We at UNFPA appreciate the Crown Princess' personal engagement in and knowledge of the situation women face in developing countries. Her help to UNFPA and its partners would shine more light on women's urgent health needs and deaths in pregnancy and childbirth."  

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