9 OCTOBER 2003
Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and his Australian fiancée Mary Donaldson have celebrated their engagement with a state dinner.
The couple were joined by both sets of parents for a banquet in the Royal Palace of Fredensborg, which was attended by the country's top politicians and dignitaries. And the bride-to-be impressed waiting journalists by answering their questions in Danish.
Earlier in the day the couple made their first public appearance together at Amalienberg Square in Copenhagen. Afterwards, the future princess admitted to being a little overwhelmed by the huge crowd who turned out to show their approval.
"Wow!" said the 31-year-old. "The sight looking out from the balcony was exciting. It was beautiful to see so many Australian flags. It was a nice feeling, a beautiful experience." And her handsome prince seemed equally delighted by the reception. "From today starts something new and fantastic," he said. "I'm so glad and happy, and today I feel like telling everybody how happy I am."
By getting engaged to Prince Frederik, Mary has become the first ever Australian to stand in line to become a European queen. The couple will be married at Copenhagen Cathedral on May 14.