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Mary and Maxima charm Japan

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Charismatic crown princesses Maxima of the Netherlands and Mary of Denmark each brought a little bit of their respective countries to Japan on Tuesday.

The vibrant young royals, who both donned cheerful springtime hats for their outings, are accompanying their husbands on the trip to help celebrate the 2005 World Expo in Nagakute.

And both royal ladies had plenty on the agenda. Mary, wife of Crown Prince Frederik, visited the Hans Christian Andersen Park in Funabashi city, where she was greeted by throngs of children waving Japanese and Danish flags. Renowned for her ability to get into the spirit of things, Mary enthusiastically painted schoolkids' faces and assisted a seven-year-old boy to plant a tree.

Meanwhile, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander's spouse was busy at the World Expo's Dutch pavilion. The pregnant princess happily received a bouquet of flowers from one of the event's kimono-clad ambassadors, and enjoyed an animated chat with Japan's Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko.

Photo: AFP
Maxima, accompanied by her husband, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, accepts a bouquet in the World Expo's Dutch pavilion
Photo: AFP
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark paints children's faces at the Hans Christian Andersen Park in Funabashi city

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