Princess Mary of Denmark has touched down in Vanuatu as she begins a whirlwind trip of official engagements in the South Pacific before a highly anticipated return to Australia.
The Hobart-born royal is hoping to shine a light on “the consequences of climate change” on Pacific island nations with visits to both Vanuatu and Fiji.
Her first stop was Vanuatu, which was devastated by two cyclones in March – Judy and Kevin – and two earthquakes.
The Crown Princess was seen stepping out in a white linen shirt, long floral skirt and beaded blue earrings as she arrived in Pele Island in Vanuatu on Sunday.
She was all smiles as she made her way around the island, meeting with the Chief and residents, all of whom warmly welcomed her visit.
Vanuatu’s Minister for Climate Change Ralph Regenavanu gave Princess Mary a tour and showed her the difficulties coastal communities battle in the face of rising sea levels.
To mark the visit, Mary participated in a traditional kava ceremony which involves drinking a plant-based drink traditionally brewed into a tea.
Her Royal Highness also purchased bags for her daughters from local merchants and is set to travel to Lelepa Island next to see the destruction left by natural disasters first hand.
The 51-year-old’s royal tour around the Pacific islands is scheduled to continue until April 28 when she travels to Australia.
“The Crown Princess will focus, among other things, on how destruction and evacuations in the wake of climate change cause increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence, and how the health system is working to protect women and girls in vulnerable situations,” a statement across her social media accounts revealed.
The visit down under will be Princess Mary’s first visit in an official capacity in over a decade.
The Crown Princess will visit a number of Danish-led projects related to sustainable construction and Danish business representatives assisting in Australia’s “green transition”.
The climate change focus is a cause close to the royal’s heart, with her children mentioning the heartbreak their mother felt during the 2020 Bushfires in a video to commemorate her 50th birthday.
The Danish royal family – including her husband Frederik and their children Christian, Isabella, Vincent and Josephine – returned to Hobart last year for an Aussie Christmas.
Princess Mary’s visit to Australia will be brief as she jets back to Europe for the coronation of King Charles III on May 6.
News Source: www.skynews.com.au