Special Issue 7, 2013
A royal introduction to Australian twin research
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark toured twin studies in Sydney recently, marking her first official engagement in Australia as the ATR’s International Patron.
The Crown Princess and HRH Crown Prince Frederik visited ATR-supported twin studies at the Sydney Children’s Hospital.
Our members can share in the highlights of this special day with photos and video at our website, Facebook and Twitter.
According to ATR Director, Professor John Hopper, it was an historic day for the ATR, recognizing the tireless efforts of twin researchers and ATR twin members around Australia.
“The royal couple enjoyed meeting researchers, and many ATR twin members and their families,” he said.
“It was great to see how interested they were in everything, being proud parents of twins. They were telling me stories about their twins and asking lots of questions.”
Professor Hopper said the royal couple found the studies into childhood conditions of particular interest. Twin researchers spoke about their studies into childhood pain disorders, children’s literacy and numeracy skills, and emotional resilience.
It was a memorable day for the many ATR twins and their families who met the royal couple.
“They were both so down to earth,” said mother of twins, Janine Geerin. “The princess asked my 15-year-old twin boys about their experiences at school – whether they are in separate classes, have the same friends, and how close they are. The prince spoke to them about sport and music.”
Another mother of twins, Tracy Triggell, said “it was lovely how they took the time to chat to everyone about their experiences as twin parents and the many unique situations that arise”.
“They also spent time with all of the children and this was a fantastic thrill for my six-year-old twin boys. It was truly a day we will never forget,” Tracy said.
The royal couple’s visit helped spread awareness globally about the importance of twin research with a huge media contingent from Australia, Denmark and around the world following the tour.
“We very much appreciate the prince and princess taking time out of their busy schedules to make this visit possible,” Professor Hopper said. “Not only did the royal couple raise awareness about twin research, but they made time for each and every one of our members, providing lifelong memories to all.”
We thank our event sponsor and ATR members, The Ritchie Family, and our event partner, the Sydney Children’s Hospital.
Photo: ATR twins meet the Danish royal couple in Sydney.