A kangaroo for the crown prince?

Finding the right gift for any wedding can be hard. When it’s the future king and queen of Denmark, then it’s likely those gifts won’t be found in a department store or catalogue.

Which probably explains why Crown Prince Frederik and his Australian fiancée, Mary Donaldson, have received everything from hand-stitched national garments from Greenland to trees from her native island of Tasmania.

Oh, and don’t forget the personal ballad written by a Danish crooner or the two sets of dinnerware.

The May 14 wedding of Frederik and Donaldson is one of the most anticipated royal events in Danish history. About 800 guests, including royals from throughout Europe and Asia, along with political leaders, have been invited to the event.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen presented Frederik (35) and Donaldson (32) with the government’s gift, a 4m-by-6m handcrafted Iranian rug.

The Australian government in Canberra also unveiled its gift: a stand of trees from Tasmania.

After a military parade on Wednesday ahead of the marriage in Copenhagen, Denmark’s defence forces gave four sculptural chairs created by Danish designer Poul M Volther in 1962. Each Corona chair is worth as much as 30 000 kroner (about $4 800).

While the gift basket is being filled by presents donated by local communities, companies or private persons, the two families’ presents won’t be unveiled until they’re unwrapped, after the wedding.

Since Monday, dozens of presents — including a sofa, 93 ceramic badges made by a Copenhagen kindergarten, paintings, a photo frame and sweets — have been delivered to the downtown Christiansborg Palace, where they will be displayed after the wedding.

The couple will get two dinnerware sets — an exclusive Flora Danica service, the other a modern 24-piece set with motifs from fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, created by Lin Utzon, the daughter of Joern Utzon, the Dane who designed the Sydney Opera House.

The Flora Danica set, made since the 1760s, is part of a twin present to be given next week by a private fund-raising called the People’s Gift. The second gift is a ballad, When You Hold Me, composed and performed in English by Danish soul crooner Erann DD.

The two gifts were chosen from more than 800 suggestions made through the fund’s website. Rejected ideas included a red Ferrari, two bicycles, a kangaroo and two elephants.

Another group raised 1,7-million kroner ($274 000) to finance a copy of a small 900-year-old gold-covered copper shrine. The original was unearthed in 1872 in southern Denmark.

A carpenter completed a 120cm-long wedding chest made of oak culled from Denmark and Tasmania.

From Greenland, a semiautonomous Danish territory, the couple got 68,5g of gold from the island’s first gold mine, which is being crafted into wedding rings.

Nuuk, the Greenland capital, gave the couple traditional Greenland garments, handmade by 15 Inuit seamstresses. — Sapa-AP

On the net:

People’s Gift

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