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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 October, 2003, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Cheering Danes greet royal pair
Mary Elizabeth Donaldson and Crown Prince Frederik make balcony appearance
The balcony appearance was greeted by a flag-waving crowd
Denmark's Crown Prince has appeared before cheering crowds on the balcony of Copenhagen's royal palace with his Australian fiancee, after their wedding date was confirmed as 14 May.

Crown Prince Frederik's marriage to former estate agent Mary Elizabeth Donaldson will make her Australia's first European princess in a reigning monarchy.

Danish fans began gathering outside the palace from early on Wednesday to greet the couple, who met at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

By the time the couple appeared around 20,000 people were there to greet them.

Her Majesty and his royal highness Prince Henrik have the joy to announce that his royal highness, the Crown Prince, has been engaged to Miss Mary Elizabeth Donaldson
Palace statement
The palace announced last month that they were planning to marry.

Wednesday's formal confirmation of their engagement was attended by the bride-to-be's family as well as members of the royal household.

"Her Majesty and his royal highness Prince Henrik have the joy to announce that his royal highness, the Crown Prince, has been engaged to Miss Mary Elizabeth Donaldson," the palace said in a statement.

The couple will be married in Copenhagen's Lutheran Cathedral on 14 May.

Ms Donaldson, 31, will have to end her citizenship of Australia and Britain, and convert to the Lutheran Church.

Prince Frederik, 35, is a popular member of the royal family.

Her father, maths professor John Dalgleish Donaldson and stepmother, author Susan Moody, joined the royal party on the balcony before leaving to attend a lunch.

The balcony appearance at Christian IX palace - one of four Renaissance-style mansions in Copenhagen's Amalienborg Castle - was greeted by crowds waving both Danish and Australian flags, which had been distributed by tourism officials.

Free coffee and cake was also being served to the revellers.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Nicky Goldberg
"The couple met at the 2000 Sydney Olympics"



SEE ALSO:
Danish prince to wed Australian
24 Sep 03  |  Europe
Runaway prince returns home
13 Feb 02  |  Europe
Queen 'Daisy' visits Scotland
18 Feb 00  |  Scotland
Dutch prince marries his Maxima
02 Feb 02  |  Europe


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