Thousands of people lined the cobblestone streets of fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen's town of birth Saturday to welcome royals, movie stars and actors marking the 200th birthday of the beloved creator of ``The Little Mermaid'' and ``The Ugly Duckling.'' The young and old in Odense waved red-and-white Danish flags and snapped pictures of the princesses and sports stars who toured a museum dedicated to Denmark's most famed and beloved author. Born 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. Worldwide, some 3,000 events have been scheduled this year to honor the writer, from the unveiling of Andersen statues in Vietnam to writing competitions in New York schools and puppet theater performances in Australia.