Sunday, December 28, 2014

Swedish royals visit Philly to mark New Sweden's 375th birthday

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.

Swedish royals visit Philly to mark New Sweden's 375th birthday

Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will visit Philadelphia today. (AP photo)
Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will visit Philadelphia today. (AP photo)

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.

- He must have huge business cards because this is his job title: "His Majesty King Carl the sixteenth Gustaf, by the Grace of God of Sweden, Duke of Jämtland, Defender of the Faith, Head of The Church in Sweden Grand Master and Knight with Collar of the Most Ancient, Noble and Honourable Order of The Seraphim, Lord, Grand Master and Commander Grand Cross with Collar of the Most Ancient and Noble Order of the Sword, Grand Mater and Commander Grand Cross with Collar of the most Honourable Oder of The Polar Star, Lord, Grand Master and Commander Grand Cross with collar of the Most Noble order of The Order of the Vasa, Lord, Grand Master and Knight of the Most Honourable Order of His Majesty The late King Charles XIII, High Protector and Knight of The Order of ST John in Sweden, Admiral Supreme Commander of the Swedish Royal Armed Forces."

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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