COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Australian Mary Donaldson married Danish Crown Prince Frederik on Friday in a wedding attended by dozens of royals and dignitaries from around the world.
Visibly moved, the couple exchanged their vows inside Our Lady’s Church in downtown Copenhagen.
Across all of Denmark, thousands more watched the lavish spectacle on live television and heard it on national radio. Outside the cathedral, tens of thousands of people lined the streets to watch the ceremony on dozens of outdoor video screens.
Amid unprecedented security across the city, some of the more than 800 guests, including film star Roger Moore and the crown princes and princesses of Spain, Norway and Sweden, filed into the 175-year-old sand-colored church, stopping to wave at photographers and television cameras.
The guest list included royals from across Europe and Asia decked out in flowing gowns or military-style formal suits. Inside, the church was decorated in roses, red and pink carnations, yellow peonies and buttercups.
Just beyond the neoclassical cathedral, armed police with sniffer dogs moved through the throngs of people gathered to watch the arrivals.
Overhead, helicopters monitored the skies. Some 1,300 uniformed police watched over the two-mile parade route, while army ambulances were parked in adjacent streets.
Police scanned the crowd with binoculars, while others checked manholes.
“As the world looks today, we have to look at the general terror threat that exists in relation to the western world,” said Lars Findsen, head of the Danish Intelligence Security Service.
Police expected 250,000 people to jam the streets of city to get a glimpse of the newlyweds. In recent days, at least 50,000 Danish and Australian flags were handed out by tourist officials.
“I have been standing here since 2 a.m. so I will try to stay awake for this afternoon,” said Kit Brandt, a Danish woman who lives in Texas, who was standing outside the cathedral.
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Others had lined up to catch a glimpse of some of the royal dignitaries, including Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito, and Spanish Crown Prince Felipe, as they boarded royal yacht Dannebrog for the pre-wedding brunch.
Security was intense around the ship, with police and security officers monitoring the crowd and an anti-terror security unit circling the ship in a dinghy.
Downtown was closed to cars — except for the fleet of nearly 100 Volvo limousines and dark buses that will ferry the guests to and from Our Lady’s Church and later to the Fredensborg Palace, where the evening party will be held.
The guests included Britain’s Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie; Princess Chulhaborn of Thailand; Farah Pahlavi, the widow of the Shah of Iran; Australian Governor General Michael Jeffrey and Tasmanian Governor Richard Butler; and France’s first lady, Bernadette Chirac.
Denmark has been celebrating the wedding for more than a week with a military parade, a banquet for Danish dignitaries on Tuesday and receptions at Copenhagen’s City Hall and at Parliament. Festivities also included more casual events, such as a boat race, a rock concert, a private party in a hip night club and hundreds of children dressed as princes and princesses cheering the couple.
A keen yachtsman, horseman and marathon-runner, Frederik met Donaldson during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney when he and Felipe stopped in at the Slip Inn bar.
The first year of their relationship was kept secret, Donaldson, a 32-year-old law graduate, later said.
After 14 months of secret visits by Frederik to Australia, scores of telephone calls, e-mails and love letters, the couple agreed near the end of 2001 that she should move to Paris so the two could be closer. In early 2003, Donaldson moved to Copenhagen.
After months of speculations, the palace finally confirmed the romance, and on Oct. 8 they were engaged.
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