Princess Mary arrives for gala ball
19:51 AEDT Wed Mar 2 2005
Australian-born Princess Mary greeted children and waved to well-wishers as she arrived for a Red Cross charity dinner in Sydney.
Denmark's Crown Princess Mary and her husband Crown Prince Frederik are guests of honour at the Red Cross 90th Anniversary Gala dinner, at Sydney's Westin Hotel.
Dressed in a pale pink silk halterneck top and floor-length layered midnight blue skirt, Princess Mary was presented with a bouquet of bright pink roses from a young girl waiting outside the hotel.
The couple posed for photos with the girl and waved to onlookers before heading inside.
Former prime ministers Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser are among the high-profile attendees at the benefit gala to celebrate 90 years of the Australian Red Cross.
Singers Delta Goodrem, wearing a full-length yellow tea rose gown, and Olivia Newton-John, wearing a green chiffon gown, will perform to more than 900 people at the A-list dinner.
Earlier on Wednesday, Princess Mary was cheered by hundreds of waving, delighted children during an impromptu walk in Sydney.
The children had gathered across the road from an eastern suburbs women's shelter where she made a private visit.
Clutching flowers and dressed in a pink floral skirt, white top and white tailored jacket, Princess Mary walked over to the crowd, trailed by officials.
She spent 15 minutes chatting, shaking hands and accepting flowers from the schoolchildren lined up along a high wall.
"Thank you for coming to see me," she told children as she prepared to leave.
They replied with a chorus of "bye, Princess Mary" before she stepped into her chauffeured car and drove away.
Princess Mary's unscripted walk follows criticism from Danish media that she and Crown Prince Frederik have not been mingling with the locals during their Australian tour.