Christening of Danish prince: snow delays royal guests

A winter storm delayed some of the royals invited to the christening of Denmark's baby prince Saturday, but all 300 guests were believed to have arrived safely, organizers said. The 3-month-old boy will be christened at Christiansborg Palace Chapel in the heart of the snow-blanketed Danish capital.

His parents, Crown Prince Frederik and Australian-born Crown Princess Mary, were set to arrive at the chapel shortly before the start of the ceremony at 11 a.m. (1000GMT). No names have been announced for the baby prince, in line to be the future king of Denmark, but Christian is a good bet. Denmark has a four-century-old tradition of alternating between Christian and Frederik as names of Danish kings.

A few hundred people gathered outside the chapel to catch a glimpse of the royals, braving a chilly breeze that made the temperature of minus 1 degree Celsius (30 Fahrenheit) feel a lot colder.

Heavy snow forced Copenhagen's international airport to cancel European flights late Friday, forcing some guests to find alternative modes of transportation. Norway's Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit arrived in Denmark on an overnight train early Saturday after their flight from Oslo was canceled Friday evening, Norwegian news agency NTB reported.

The bishop of the Danish capital, Erik Norman Svendsen, will preside over the christening, which will be broadcast live on Danish television. Some 300 royals and dignitaries were invited to attend the 45-minute ceremony, including the Norwegian crown prince couple and Swedish Crown Princess Victoria.

The christening will take place at the Neo-classical chapel built in 1826 next to Christiansborg Palace, which houses Parliament. It will be the second time that the chapel is used for a royal christening. In 1870, Frederik's great-grandfather, Prince Christian, who became King Christian X, was baptized there.

The chapel has provided the setting for several royal weddings, and many royals have lain in state there, most recently in November 2000, when Danes paid homage to Queen Ingrid, Frederik's grandmother. After the ceremony, the guests will walk out of the chapel and into the Christiansborg Palace for a buffet lunch.

A private family dinner will be held in the evening in the couple's home in an annex of the Fredensborg Castle, north of the Danish capital. Mary Donaldson, 33, who was born in Hobart, on the island of Tasmania, married Frederik in a lavish fairytale wedding in May 2004 at Copenhagen's Lutheran Cathedral. The couple met in a bar during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Frederik, 37, is next in line to the throne, reports the AP. N.U.

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