Princess Mary and Prince Frederik put on a show
Danish Royalty say hello to crowds ahead of a tour of the Sydney Opera House designed by Dane Jorn Utzon.PT0M54S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2w34g 620 349 October 24, 2013
Princess Mary said the NSW bushfires had been "heartbreaking" as she and husband Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark began their official Sydney tour on Thursday morning.
"We've been monitoring the situation for the past eight days from Denmark," she told reporters at the Opera House on its 40th anniversary.
"Our deepest sympathies go to those who have been affected ... Our utmost respect goes to those who are working to control these fires that are really scary."
Danish Royals visit Opera House
Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary greet the waiting crowds. Photo: Peter Rae
She said that while bushfires were a part of Australian life, "it's always heartbreaking to see people who are losing possessions and homes".
Making their way up the steps ahead of a tour of the building designed by Dane Jorn Utzon, the couple walked below the vaulted sails, shaking hands as a group of year five pupils from SCEGGS Redlands cheered in the morning sunshine. A clutch of Danish nationals proudly called out greetings in their national tongue, as their Royal Highnesses smiled, nodded and worked their way down the line of well-wishers.
Mads Hartvig Jensen, visiting Sydney with his wife and four children, planned the trip to coincide with the five-day royal visit.
The Sydney Opera House today welcomed Denmark’s Crown Prince Couple, HRH Crown Prince Frederik and HRH Crown Princess Mary. Photo: prudence upton
"It makes you shake," the Copenhagen local said of seeing the Crown Prince and Princess. "It's really something Danish people admire. They protect them and look up to them - there are only very, very few people in Denmark who are against the royal family."
His children waved red-and-white flags as one, his 14-year-old daughter, Nikoline, shook the hand of the future Queen consort of Denmark.
Speaking about Hobart-born Princess Mary, Mr Jensen said: "She does a fantastic job; she's doing very well. It's nice they've got a big family...
"They've really managed to speak well to ordinary people."
But the star of the moment, modern Australia's cultural crown jewel, was not to be outdone.
"Everybody in Denmark knows about the Opera House, people are very proud it's actually a Danish architect behind it," Mr Jensen said
Jorn Utzon's son, Jan, told reporters the links between Denmark and Australia were "wonderful" and that his father would be proud.
"I feel his spirit is here with us in the Opera House, the most important achievement for him in his life."
He said he would "happily" be back in 10 years' time for the House's 50th anniversary.
Alongside celebrations at Bennelong Point, the Danish Royals will also visit Government House, attend the opening of the Ole Lynggaard store, attend the Premier's Reading Challenge at Five Dock Primary School, open the Danish Design at the House exhibition and visit the Australian Twin Registry at the Sydney Children's Hospital.
The couple, who famously met at the Slip Inn pub during the 2000 Olympics, have four children: Prince Christian, Princess Isabella and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.