Thursday 7 December 2006

Down Under with Frederik, Mary & Christian

We thought we would revisit some of the moments and media coverage of Frederik, Mary and Christian on their visit to Australia. It began with Frederik arriving the day before Mary and Christian and so he was able to greet them at the airport in Hobart the next morning. Frederik was quite emotional to see his Christian and Mary, perhaps mindful how much his wife was looking forward to her visit to her homeland and also that it was Christian's first experience of Australia and a heritage he already knows through family and stories. Next stop was Mary's sister Jane Stephens' house in West Hobart where they were staying and the media followed. During the next couple of days the Donaldson clan went out and about in Hobart to Salamanca. Mary had an old school friend (also Jane - long blonde hair) with her and met another old friend by chance too. We saw Mary, Frederik and Christian all happy to be surrounded by equally happy family members. The Donaldson's included Jane and Craig Stephens and their three children, Patricia and Scott Bailey and three children and John Donaldson and his wife Leanne and their daughters. John Donaldson also made the trip from Copenhagen and had some quality grandfather time with his grandkids (see the sweet photos of him with daughter Patricia and grandaughter Mollie on his shoulders at the markets). John Donaldson will meet the Danish research ship the Vædderen which is circumnavigating the world as part of the Galathea 3 expedition. The ship has stopped in Broome, Perth and will call at Hobart and Sydney on the Australian leg. No doubt other members of the Donaldson family in Tasmania joined the get-together too (uncles, aunts, cousins).

Leanne Donaldson, wife of Mary's brother John, is quoted by Woman's Day as saying "This is the happiest of homecomings. Everyone's having a blast. It's just a happy family time...Fred and Mary are our brother and sister and Christian is just a very beautiful baby boy." On the Sunday after they arrived the clan is reported as having gone on a forest trek in southern Tasmania and then the following day it was a family picnic by the river at Richmond. Woman's Day also reports that Frederik met with an architect at the Elizabeth Street pier for a couple of hours, giving substance to the idea that Frederik and Mary will buy (or have already) or build in Tasmania. New Idea says the family stayed at a weekender built by Jane at Orford, 73km east of Hobart, after the Friday photocall.

Mary, Frederik and Christian spent some days in Melbourne where Mary no doubt caught up with friends made during her time living and working there before the death of her mother and the events which lead her to travel and eventually move to live and work in Sydney. They spent time with Mary's friend Amber Petty, who took great delight in Christian and she also spent some time with them in Sydney. Amber Petty has recently moved back to Melbourne from Sydney. Mary also visited Aspendale Public School to see the anti-bullying program there in action. In Sydney Frederik, Mary and Christian are said to have stayed in an apartment in the eastern suburbs and did some familiar things, which included the spectacular cliff walk between Bondi and Bronte and treat Christian to the Sydney beach experience so many Australian kids get. The couple they brunched with in Bronte are also an Australian/Danish combo just as they are: Chris Meehan, Mary's old boss and friend married Danish champion sailor Michaela Ward and they now have a son, Percy Nicholas Meehan.

Finally, Christian must have really soaked up the Australian beach culture -- he left Sydney Airport in bare feet!

The Bonorong Wildlife Park photocall and Christian taking some of his first steps :

In Melbourne shopping in Prahran:

In Sydney at Rose Bay marina before a cruise and at Bronte Beach with Chris and Michaela Meehan and their son Percy:

4 December 2006. Sydney, Australia. Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik enjoy some breakfast at Bronte cafe with some friends and family. The royal family were then escorted by a convoy of undercover police and security cars to Bondi Junction shopping centre were Princess Mary bought some shoes for her child and browsed through the local stores.

Heading home:

Some Australian and Danish media coverage for our many non Danish and non Australian readers. First up, a little item in The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) from Frederik's, Mary's and Christian's last day in Sydney and then from New Idea (Australia):

Woman's Day (Australia):

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