Danish royals kick off Aussie tour


It's been an action-packed first day in Sydney for Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark during their six-day tour of Australia.

Clifftop sculptures, barbecued prawns, a boat trip on the harbour and adoring crowds waving Danish flags.

It's all in a day's work for a princess on tour.

Australian-born Crown Princess Mary and her husband, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, were greeted by thousands of cheering well-wishers at Bondi Beach as they kicked off the first day of their official six-day visit to Australia.

The royal couple waved and smiled as they were welcomed by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and his wife Rosemary before visiting the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition.

Mr O'Farrell said he was delighted to have the royal couple back to Sydney.

"Like many Australians, we share in the royal romance and relationship that some have described as a fairytale," Mr O'Farrell said.

The couple were casually dressed for the humid weather, with Mary wearing a cream sleeveless shirt, a white pencil skirt and orange shoes.

Frederik, the heir to the Danish throne, sported a pair of tan pants and a blue open-necked shirt.

They shook hands with several people in the crowd, some of whom cried "welcome to Australia".

A mother-of-four herself, Princess Mary paused to admire the baby in Maroubra mum Emma Lynch's arms.

Eight-month-old Maddison Lynch gurgled happily as the princess rubbed her back.

Ms Lynch said she was "shaking" after the encounter.

"She's so beautiful, just a lovely person," Ms Lynch told reporters.

The couple examined some of the sculptures and presented the People's Choice and Children's Choice awards.

"Oh wow, look at that!" Mary exclaimed, after spotting a sculpture of a giant tap by Simon McGrath titled Who Left The Tap Running.

On their way out, the royal couple met with more onlookers, including Sarah Robertson from Brisbane, who asked the princess for advice on twins for her sister-in-law who is expecting.

The princess replied, "synchronisation and organisation", Ms Robertson told AAP.

Later, Mary hitched up her skirt as she and Frederik jumped onto energy-generating bikes to make themselves smoothies after opening an urban sustainability conference at Customs House.

The venue at Circular Quay was just over one kilometre from the Slip Inn, the bar where the couple famously met during the 2000 Olympics.

Later, they mingled with 400 guests, mainly from the Danish business community, at a barbecue at the Garden Island naval base on Sydney Harbour.

The barbecue menu included Tasmanian scallops, lamb and mint sausages, king prawns, Sydney rock oysters, barramundi, marinated Atlantic salmon, King Island beef eye fillet and pavlova with King Island cream.

The couple were spattered with a burst of heavy rainfall as they later boarded a boat to go to Admiralty House, where they were dining with Governor-General Quentin Bryce, but a black umbrella was eventually produced.

At one point it was thought the royal couple might not take the boat to Admiralty House, because of rough seas.

But given Frederik was a sailor in the Danish naval elite special operations forces, Mary was in good hands.

The couple did take the boat - the prince putting his arm around his wife to keep her steady.

Source: AAP