15. October 2005
A royal present

Press Release

Mary and Frederik receives large Australian gift

What do you give a Crown Prince couple, which has almost everything?

Well, why not a historical Melbourne tramcar weighing almost 17 tonnes!!

The unique and exceptional gift, which is a memento of the official visit to Australia earlier in the year and at the same time offers warm congratulations on the occasion of the birth of their first child, will be received by Denmark's Consul-General to Australia, Mr. Jørgen Møllegaard Kristensen, on behalf of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary.

The official hand-over of the gift will take place on Thursday, November 10th in Melbourne, which boasts one of the world's largest running tramway systems - and which is being constantly expanded upon.

Crown Princess Mary has spent a couple of years in Melbourne and is undoubtedly familiar with the tram system - she may even have travelled on exactly the tram, which is now going to have a royal ownership. It is a large four-axle tram with the number MMTB 965. This tram type is from the 1930'ies and is the Melbourne contemporary of the classic Copenhagen four-axle tram from 1930 designed by the well-know Danish architect Ib Lunding. The Australian tram has been kept in reserve for a number of years in case of a breakdown on the newer trams, but it can now be spared for its new royal life!

The idea behind this unique gift has been conceived through contacts between the Sydney Tramway Museum and the Danish Tramway Museum Skjoldenæsholm and fortunately it received enthusiastic backing from the Victorian Government and the city of Melbourne as well as from the Danish Crown Prince couple as recipients.

The large and unusual gift for the Crown Prince couple will be transported by sea from Melbourne to Aarhus in Denmark with expected arrival in the early part of 2006. The transport is being undertaken by one of the world's leading shipping companies - the Danish A.P. Moller-Maersk, for whom 'No detail too small - no effort too great'.

The royal tram will in the future be well looked after at the Danish Tramway Museum Skjoldenæsholm about 65 kilometres southwest of Copenhagen, where it will be able to be experienced in service on the museum line by the many visitors to the museum.

The museum has of course extended an invitation to the Royal couple for at visit to the museum so that Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary can get a first-hand experience of their own green Melbourne tram in service in the beautiful Mid-Zealand surroundings.

The Danish Tramway Museum already possesses a number of foreign trams in its significant collection of historical trams, which since early 2004 also encompass the collection previously owned and preserved since almost 100 years by the cities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. The Danish Tramway Museum is today regarded amongst the five leading tramway museums in the world - and run totally on a voluntary basis - and the inclusion of the Australian tram signals a new and important connection between the large continent on the southern hemisphere and the small kingdom in the north.

It is not the first time, that members of the Royal Danish Court deposit large gifts outside the royal quarters. This is f.inst. the case with the royal Thai elephants, which are now housed in the Copenhagen Zoological Garden.

For further information please contact
Museum Leader Mikael Lund on telph. 45-3963 5401
or press secretary Soren Palsbo (daytime: 45-4695 4185 or evening/weekend: 45-3874 7802).