King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden stopped by City Hall on Friday to say, "Hej," to Mayor Nutter and commemorate the 375th anniversary of New Sweden, the early colonial settlement where Wilmington and Philadelphia would one day rise.
You might recognize the king from TV as the guy who hands out the Nobel Prizes each year.
Nutter and the royals exchanged gifts and pleasentries in Conversation Hall. Now, they're off to check out the Barnes Foundation, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the American Swedish Historical Museum in FDR Park. The royal couple are on a U.S. tour with other stops in Washington, Wilmington and New York.
Fun facts, mostly via Wiki:
- Philly's Swedish roots are the reason our flag is blue and yellow.
- Swedish settlers introduced the log cabin to the New World.
- Philly's Gloria Dei Church, or Old Swedes' Church, dates back to 1697 and is the oldest church in Pennsylvania as well as one of the oldest in the country.
- Swedish superstars ABBA made their domestic debut of "Dancing Queen" at the royal couple's wedding in 1976. The couple met at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
- The king's family, the House of Bernadotte, has been in power since 1818. He has royal cousins in Denmark, Belgium, Norway, England, Spain, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Monaco. Must be a helluva family reunion.
- Although they have a son, next in line for the throne is Crown Princess Victoria, their eldest child. Sweden in 1980 became the first European monarchy to adopt absolute primogeniture, eliminating male preference for royal succession.