31 AUGUST 2006

As the mother of a small child Denmark's Princess Mary is certainly no slouch when it comes to giving kisses and cuddles. And the popular royal got a chance to put her maternal instincts into practice when she met flag-waving schoolchildren on an engagement in Odense, the country's third largest city.

During a walkabout in the suburb of Vollsmose 34-year-old Mary got a particularly enthusiastic welcome from one pretty youngster. The little girl flung her arms tightly round the high-profile visitor, who returned her embrace affectionately.

It was the second time the princess had dropped in on the area in as many years. This latest visit was organised at Mary's request so that she could show solidarity with the mainly immigrant residents in the neighbourhood.

After meeting her young fans the Australian-born royal sat down to lunch with a local family of refugees. Palestinian Kalil Jomaa and his wife Jawaher Othman, who arrived in Scandinavia 16 years ago, treated their guest to a Middle Eastern feast of kebabs, falafel, humus. At the couple's home on the sixth floor of a housing block, Mary also got the chance to chat with their seven children.

Photo: ©
The down-to-earth royal was more than happy to return a warm hug from one of her young fans on a recent engagement. Mary had apparently requested her trip to the area, which is home to a large immigrant populationPhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
It was the Aussie-born princess' second visit to the districtPhoto: © Rex
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