24 MAY 2006

When Princess Mary and her husband Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark made an official visit to Australia last year, little did they know that they would receive a gift weighing 17 tonnes in return. The Victorian government's unique present was a 1930s Melbourne tram, officially inaugurated by the couple at the Danish Tram Museum this week.

Tasmanian-born Mary looked delighted with the souvenir of her homeland, which arrived in Denmark after a 44-day sea voyage earlier in the year. It must have brought back memories for the chic brunette who previously spent a couple of years living in Melbourne, a city which boasts one of the world's largest running tramway systems.

Crowds of eager royal fans, waving both Australian and Danish flags, turned up for the handover at the Danish Tramway Museum. Mother-of-one Mary, who wore a fitted coat and purple pashmina, eagerly climbed aboard tram 965, as did her handsome husband.

Their present celebrates the special relationship between Australia and Denmark, which strengthened after Mary's marriage to the heir to the Danish throne. A national heroine in her homeland, the pretty princess has also been welcomed into the hearts of her new people who she has won over with her style, beauty and professionalism.

The piece of transport history is to be looked after by the Danish Tramway Museum, considered one of the best of its type in the world. The new vehicle will operate in the museum grounds, so visitors can experience it first hand.

Photo: ©
Tasmanian-born Mary hops aboard the royal tram which will be looked after by the Danish Tramway MuseumPhoto: © RexClick on photo to enlarge
Photo: ©
The princess was all smiles as she took delivery of the unusual gift, which marks the closeness between the country of her birth and her adopted homelandPhoto: © Rex
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