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Princess Mary spotted in cycling turn through Sydney streets

Princess Mary hits the streets of Sydney

Australian-born Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is back on home shores for her first official engagement in 10 years.

During a whirlwind visit to Sydney on Friday, Mary cycled the streets, took a ride on the Danish inspired-light rail and championed the transition towards more sustainable cities.

The Princess was leading a delegation from her adopted country to discuss Australia’s “green transition” while visiting Danish-led projects related to sustainable construction and transportation, the royal family said in a statement earlier this month.

First thing on Friday, she hit Hyde Park bike lanes with fellow cyclists for a lap around the CBD.

Dressed in tailored emerald green silk pants, a white top and black blazer, the 51-year-old mother-of-four chatted to officials before heading off on her cycle ride.

“No one looks good in a bike helmet, but safety first,” she said as she donned her helmet.

“I’m looking forward to this bike ride. It’s a beautiful day, it’s wonderful to be here.”

There was a momentary hiccup when the royal bicycle had to halt so Mary could adjust her pants, which were getting caught in the bike’s chain.

A woman handed the princess two elastic bands, which she used to tie her pants into place at her knees. Then the parade restarted.

After a lap of the park, the delegation boarded the light rail – a project led by renowned Danish architect Jan Gehl – to Sydney Town Hall.

Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore was excited to host the royal “and show off some of the infrastructure they (Danes) have helped inspire”.

Ms Moore said she was thrilled to welcome the Tasmanian-born royal to Sydney.

“The wonderful things they’ve been doing in Copenhagen for 30 or 40 years, we’ve been doing successfully in Sydney since about 2008,” she said on Friday.

Ms Moore also told the princess about the challenges of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and the city’s outdoor dining solution.

“I think she was very excited to see the transformation in Sydney and I was very excited to show her,” she said.

In 2007, Ms Moore handed the keys to the city to Mr Gehl to make Sydney a greener, more connected and more attractive place to live and work.

His work has been credited for pedestrianising George Street and bringing inner-city laneways to life as well as inspiring urban design in Perth, Adelaide and Hobart.

Mr Gehl was the second Dane to be awarded the keys to the city after architect Jørn Utzon in 1998. He won a competition in 1957 to design the Sydney Opera House.

The Danish urban influence extends to Quay Quarter Towers, a 206-metre-high building recently erected in Sydney’s CBD. The project, co-designed by Danish company 3XN and BVN architects in Sydney, cinched the World Building of the Year award in 2022.

Tasmanian-born Princess Mary has long touted the connections between Denmark and her homeland since marrying into the Danish royalty in 2004.

princess mary

Crown Princess Mary in Hobart with her family Prince Vincent, Prince Christian, Crown Prince Frederik, Princess Josephine, Princess Isabella. Photo: Instagram/Danish Royal Family

She and Crown Prince Frederik famously met in a Sydney pub while she was working in the harbour city and he was visiting for the 2000 Olympic Games.

“I was asked by a journalist what did I know about Denmark before meeting my future husband?” she said during her last official visit to Australia in 2013.

“I replied, ‘Hans Christian Anderson and the Sydney Opera House was designed by a Dane’.”

Princess Mary’s visit comes off the back of a trip to Vanuatu and Fiji aimed at shining a light on the impacts of climate change on Pacific island nations.

After leaving Australia, she head to London for the King’s coronation.

It is believed to be Mary’s first visit to her home country since she and her husband and their four children made a private family trip to NSW and Tasmania more than a year ago.

-with AAP

Topics: NSW
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