Mary was beaming as crowds welcomed her home on Friday for her first official visit to Australia as a princess
Photo: AFP
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A young fan greeted the 33-year-old Tasmanian-born royal with a colourful posy of flowers
Photo: AFP

25 FEBRUARY 2005

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Princess Mary of Denmark received a rapturous welcome from well-wishers as she arrived in Sydney on Friday. The stylish Australian who was making her first trip Down Under since becoming a European royal, looked radiant in a cream coloured coat and floral scarf as she accepted a bouquet of flowers from a young admirer.

The build-up of Mary mania has hit a fever pitch in the weeks leading up to her arrival, with her return generating public interest similar to that which surrounded Princess Diana at the height of her popularity. The fashionable royal has graced the covers of every major magazine and newspaper and been the dominant topic of conversation across the nation.

Mary was originally due to arrive on Sunday, but moved her trip forward to give her and Frederik a day to themselves before their official engagements begin on Sunday. The crown prince arrived in Sydney earlier this week and has spent his time soaking up the warm Australian sun while preparing for an international yachting regatta.

The royal couple's first official duty will be to challenge each other in an Australia versus Denmark yacht race in the harbour on Sunday.

The hectic 13-day tour of Oz wraps up in Mary's hometown of Hobart on March 11. The Danish royals will attend state and charity dinners in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne plus a special reception hosted by Prime Minister John Howard in Parliament House, before spending some private time with Mary's family.



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