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Thursday, January 05, 2006

JUST WHAT MARY'S BOY WANTED - A TRAM [06jan06]

JUST WHAT MARY'S BOY WANTED - A TRAM [06jan06]

ONE of the new Danish prince's biggest gifts is on its way from Australia to Copenhagen.

A vintage tram from Melbourne yesterday began a journey to Denmark - as a gift from the southeastern Victoria state to the son of Crown Prince Frederick and his Australian-born wife Crown Princess Mary.

The 1950 W-class tram was shipped yesterday afternoon via Tokyo to the Danish capital.

Crown Princess Mary worked briefly in Melbourne in the 1990s with an advertising agency.

The princess gave birth to the royal couple's first child, a son, on October 15. The new prince is to be christened on January 21. Although the name of the infant prince has not been announced, it is likely to be Christian, in line with a 446-year-old Danish tradition of alternating between Christian and Frederik as names for future kings in Europe's oldest reigning monarchy.

"As a former Melbourne resident, the princess would be very familiar with our trams, and we hope the gift brings back fond memories from her time spent here," Victorian Transport Minister Peter Batchelor said.

Instead of trundling through the city streets of Melbourne as it once did, the fully restored rattler will soon become a Down Under addition to the Danish Tram Museum.

It joins an array of uniquely Australian gifts that have been presented to the baby prince, including two Tasmanian Devils sent to the Copenhagen Zoo on behalf of the southern state of Tasmania.

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