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All about Mary

Saturday, 26th November, 2011

HELLO THERE: Princess Mary stops to speak with three year-old Maya Johns after touching down in the city. HELLO THERE: Princess Mary stops to speak with three year-old Maya Johns after touching down in the city.

By Erica Visser

No one misses out with Mary. The Crown Princess of Denmark arrived at the Broken Hill RFDS base at precisely 10.25am yesterday where she was met by hundreds of exciited fans, many waving bouquets of flowers.

First up, Aboriginal Elder Maureen O’Donnell along with her granddaughter and Maari Ma worker Lisa Kickett, gave the Welcome to Country speech.

Princess Mary, wearing a gold, green, blue and beige patterned blouse and emerald green skirt then graciously greeted the crowd from behind a waist-high barrier.

While organisers were checking their watches, Mary was in no rush, instead making sure that she spoke to every child who had come to see her.

Once inside, it was a quick tour of the RFDS base and one of the planes in the hangar before the Princess was seated alongside Governor of NSW Marie Bashir, RFDS President Joan Treweeke, and South Eastern Section Executive Director Clyde Thomson.

The luncheon took place in the hangar where 24 round tables were covered with white tableclothes and red and blue sashes. 

The rectangular table where the Princess was seated was placed in the middle of the room.

Whilst the menu featured chicken and also the more adventurous kangaroo, Mary chose the salt bushed lamb rack, according to Chef Lee Cecchin.

The Crown Princess gave a brief speech where she acknowledged the work the RFDS does.

“I have a particular interest to see the work they do for women’s and children’s health,” she said, “travelling to Far West NSW to provide much-needed care and support for women living in remote areas living with breast cancer.”

The Princess also thanked “the people of Broken Hill who received me so warmly at the airport this morning.”

RFDS Trustee Lord Glendonbrook, from England, flew into the city for the occasion.

“I think it’s probably one of the most important visits that’s taken place for many years,” Lord Glendonbrook said.

“Of course the Queen visited here 50 years ago; that was the beginning of the Broken Hill connection of the RFDS.

“But because of our ties with royalty - the Prince of Wales is the patron - all the royal families all do a bit of charity work.”

Mayor Wincen Cuy, who sat at the official table with the Princess, said that she was very down-to-earth, despite her rise to fame since she met Prince Frederick in a Sydney pub in 2000.

“It was absolutely fabulous,” Mr Cuy said. “It went really well. The city should be proud of the way that they conducted themselves.”

The Princess farewelled guests and a small crowd who stood on the tarmac before she disappeared into the Royal Air Force plane that would take her back to her Prince and their twin children in Melbourne.

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