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A young ice maiden, a little mermaid and an emperor without clothes reveled with royals and celebrities Saturday as Denmark marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen, the fairy tale writer whose stories have become classics worldwide.

The four-day celebration began Thursday with a ceremony in Copenhagen, the Danish capital, and included an award ceremony Saturday in Odense, where Andersen was born, and a star-studded concert later in the day in Copenhagen, where it wrapped up Sunday with a reception.

Born on April 2, 1805, Andersen was the son of a charwoman and a shoemaker. He was a well-known novelist in Denmark during his lifetime, but his worldwide popularity as a fairy tale writer came after his death.

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