Regal elegance as Princess Mary and her counterparts arrive for Victoria's wedding

Prince Frederick's wife did Denmark proud as she stepped out to a pre-wedding party hosted by the Swedish king and queen

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On Saturday royal watchers eyes will be firmly trained on one face – that of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden as she weds Daniel Westling, the man who captured her heart eight years ago.

But on Thursday Europe's other princess took their turn at shining in the spotlight. Leading the bevy of ladies at a gala dinner in Drottingholm Palace, hosted by the bride's parents King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia was Princess Mary of Denmark.

She had picked out a floor length white one shoulder and elaborate diamond drop earrings.

Earlier she arrived with her four-year-old son Christian, who is Victoria's godson and is reportedly to act as a pageboy. 

Equally dazzling was Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit in a beautiful dove grey evening gown. Her appearance prompted a display of gallantry from her husband Haakon, who took her by the hand to escort her from HMS Norge.

The ship was a present to their family from the Norwegian people in 1947.

Accompanying the couple - whose daughter daughter Ingrid, another of the bride's godchildren, had travelled with them - were his sister Martha Louise and her partner Ari Behn.

Mathilde of Belgium arrived with her close friend Argentine-born Maxima, the wife of Willem-Alexander, the heir to the Dutch throne.

Both royals lived up to their reputations as elegant dressers, with the Belgian crown princess in a bold black and white creation that was slashed to the thigh, revealing her shapely figure and the lovely Latin in a blue and gold sari-inspired ensemble, accessorised with turquoise jewellery.

The 200-strong gathering that sat down to a banquet prepared by the royal family's five private chefs also included Prince Nikolaos of Greeceand his fiancée Tatiana Blatnik, who are thought to be planning their own wedding for 2011.