Anticipation building ahead of Danish royal wedding PRINT FRIENDLY EMAIL STORY
AM - Friday, 14 May , 2004 08:25:32
Reporter: Fran Kelly
TONY EASTLEY: It'll be the biggest party that Copenhagen has seen for a while. Tonight's royal wedding is all set – the guests and the gifts all in place.
Tasmanian Mary Donaldson is about to become a Princess and one day perhaps a Queen, after she marries the Crown Prince of Denmark, Prince Frederik.
The Danish capital is all aflutter in anticipation.
Our Europe Correspondent Fran Kelly is there
FRAN KELLY: In Copenhagen, everybody's smiling and it's usually got something to do with Mary Donaldson, their Princess-to-be.
They smile when you mention her name, they smile when they hear her speak in her not quite perfect Danish. They even laugh and smile when she gets the protocol at formal events a little wrong.
Today, her hat blew off as she greeted parliamentarians at a reception in her honour. The crowd loved it.
(audio of squeals, with brass band in background)
VOX POP 1: We saw her hat flew off, and we enjoyed it and she was taking it very strong. She laughed and he said to her, "it doesn't matter".
FRAN KELLY: In this city it seems, everybody loves Mary. Just witness the crowd lining up to bring wedding gifts.
(audio of motorbikes revving)From bikies to scoutmasters they came. Some driving five hours to deliver their gifts.
So what do you give the couple that has everything?
VOX POP 2: They're getting two very nice Harley-Davidson jackets on behalf of the biker environment in Denmark.
VOX POP 3: I brought them a frame with three pictures from the boat race which took place last Sunday.
VOX POP 4: I'm a leader of some young scouts and yesterday we made drawings for the Prince and for the Princess.
VOX POP 5: I brought a jacket in suede and I made a tie for Prince Frederik.
VOX POP 6: We brought them two pair of handcrafted RM Williams boot. We have a special store for that here in Copenhagen, we bought Australian stuff. So therefore we are very, very happy to have Mary here as the coming Queen.
FRAN KELLY: There were paintings and rugs, glassware and jewellery, even his and her mountain bikes, though the new Princess might be a little taken aback to see her bike already mounted with a baby seat, ready for that first heir.
But if she is starting to feel the pressure, she needn't worry.
Anna Johanderson (phonetic) is Copenhagen's leading royal writer. She's the one who first discovered the romance between Frederik and Mary, tracking the Crown Prince's new girlfriend all the way to Sydney. Since then, Mary Donaldson hasn't been off the front cover.
ANNA JOHANDERSON: She should just stay the way she is. She's perfect the way she is. She is so honest, she's open, she's intelligent, good looking. And I think they will get children pretty soon.
FRAN KELLY: Is that important to the Danes, that children come out of this royal marriage very quickly?
ANNA JOHANDERSON: They don't have to do it this year, but I think maybe next year we have a baby boy or baby princess.
FRAN KELLY: There's all sorts of people in Copenhagen for this wedding. European royals, Australian dignitaries, the Donaldson family and friends – even the Queen's favourite singer, Donovan, who's star guest at the royal gala concert, a role normally preserved for the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John or Sting.
DONOVAN: I think I was invited because of my love of myths and legends and fairytales, and perhaps I'm a favourite of the Queen.
FRAN KELLY: Now Donovan, can you give us a sneak preview for Australia?
DONOVAN: Well, apart from singing…
(singing) "Sunshine came softly through my window today"…
I'll be singing in particular, Little Tin Soldier which is the story of the little tin story with one leg who fell in love with a ballerina. So I'll be singing a fairytale tonight for the royal family. And it goes like…
(singing) "Once in a town in the black forest, a little white toyshop stood, and a little tin soldier with only one leg, lived in a castle of wood. And across the room on another shelf…"
FRAN KELLY: This is Fran Kelly in Copenhagen, for AM.
DONOVAN: (singing) "… and a tiny ballerina lived in there all in a dress of lace and…"
TONY EASTLEY: Singer Donovan.
I wonder what Denmark's founding father of democracy, Gorm the Old, would make of it all.