2. December 2005
Royal Melbourne Tram

At 10:30am on Thursday 10 November, in a festive ceremony at Preston Workshops, Melbourne SW6 no. 965 was officially transferred to the representative of the royal couple, Royal Danish Consul General Jørgen Møllegaard Kristensen, by the transport minister of the state of Victoria, Peter Batchelor.

The vehicle - which bore an appropriate 'DENMARK' destination sign surrounded by large Australian and Danish flags - has been beautifully renovated by the givers, besides which it has been newly painted and given a thorough electrical and mechanical overhaul, so that it is in every respect ready to run.

The event was covered by three TV channels and journalists from various newspapers.

The minister expressed his great pleasure that the royal couple had accepted this unique gift, and hoped it would help to cement the friendly relations between Australia and Denmark. He also mentioned that Australians were incredibly proud of the fact that an Australian girl had become Danish Crown Princess. The Danish Consul General expressed great pleasure at the gift and promised, on behalf of the royal couple and ourselves, that it would be well looked after.

Representativres from the Danish community in Australia had been invited to the event, including a number of children, who carried Danish and Australian flags. The A.P. Møller shipping company was represented by the manager of its Australian office, Søren Houman, and in recognition of the fact that the company has undertaken to ship the tram to Denmark free of charge, it also bore a Maersk Sealand banner.

It has been provisionally agreed that the tram will leave Melbourne on Tuesday 3 January and travel on the Maersk Tokyo to Yokohama, where it will be transferred to the Gudrun Maersk, which was launched by Crown Princess Mary. It is expected to arrive in Aarhus on Saturday 18 February. From Aarhus, the tram will immediately be transported to Skjoldenæsholm, probably using the special Swedish tram truck which we have previously utilised to transport trams from, for example, Düsseldorf.