Princess Mary waves to some of the thousands of well-wishers who lined the streets of Copenhagen
Photo: © AFP
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The newlyweds make their way back up the aisle of Vor Frue Kirke cathedral after becoming man and wife
Photo: © AFP

Frederik and Mary received a roar of approval form the huge crowd of well-wishers when their lips met on the balcony of Amalienborg Palace
Photo: © AFP

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The run-up and the big day itself

14 MAY 2004

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The people of Denmark have a new crown princess this weekend, after Prince Frederik exchanged vows with his Australian fiancée, Mary Donaldson, in Copenhagen's Vor Frue Kirke cathedral. It was an emotional affair, with the groom seen wiping a tear from his eye even before he first caught sight of his bride-to-be walking down the aisle.

The pretty Australian held her partner's hand to help him calm his nerves when they took their seats for the ceremony. And Mary, who likewise had trouble containing her emotion, looked distinctly teary-eyed when they made their way outside afterwards. The pair even paused for a spontaneous and loving kiss, much to the delight of their guests, before emerging into the sunlight. And they repeated the gesture not long afterwards, when they appeared on the balcony of Amalienborg Palace to wave to their subjects.

With hardly a minute to catch their breath, the couple then headed off to Fredensborg Castle, 35 kilometres north of the capital, where a lavish banquet was staged for 682 people.

Despite the fact that it was Denmark's big day, the guests were treated to a decidedly Gallic meal, with the bride's French father-in-law overseeing the menu. Royal palates enjoyed a timbale of shellfish followed by roast venison and a newly created "Perfect Union" vol-au-vent. Dessert consisted of a white chocolate delice and, needless to say, there was a plentiful supply of wine from Prince's Henrik's own vineyards in southern France.

A roll call of top royals had jetted in from all over the world to witness the event. Among those present were Monaco's Princess Caroline and Prince Albert, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, Crown Prince Felipe and Queen Sofia of Spain and leading figures from the royal households of Norway, Japan, Sweden and Belgium.

Thousands of well-wishers lined the streets around the cathedral in the hope of catching a glimpse of the newlyweds. And those who didn't manage to see them in person were not disappointed, because the wedding was also broadcast on big screens at strategic locations around the city.

Copenhagen's buses had meanwhile been bedecked with Australian flags in honour of the new princess, who originally hails from Tasmania. The 32-year-old's nuptials mark the culmination of a week of celebrations, which have included a military parade and a huge gala banquet. A massive security operation was also in operation, as Denmark's police force pulled out all the stops to ensure everything went smoothly.

After all the frenzied activity of the past few days, Frederik and Mary will surely enjoy some time to relax together during their honeymoon in Greenland.

prince frederik, mary donaldson