Swedish princess to visit Del. briefly
Nov. trip rescheduled from April
By ROBIN BROWN
Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria plans to visit Delaware next month, after postponing a trip in April because of the Iraq war and terrorism concerns, organizers said.
But her visit Nov. 8 will be shorter than the full day planned in April for the 365th anniversary of the Swedes' and Finns' landing in Wilmington.
Victoria will be in Delaware only from about 11 a.m. until 1 or 2 p.m., said Delaware Swedish Colonial Society member Frances Allmond of Brandywine Hundred. "We're all very excited, of course, but we're just sorry that she won't be able to spend more time with us."
Alfred Nicolosi, spokesman for the Philadelphia-based Swedish Colonial Society that is hosting the 25-year-old princess, said the visit will be so short that the public will have little chance to see her.
Coming from a brief stay in New York, he said, the princess will visit three Wilmington sites:
• Fort Christina Park, where the Swedes landed in 1638 at a location called The Rocks and began the state's first permanent European settlement.
• The Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard, where she will tour the replica of the settlers' ship and meet members of the Lenape tribe, whose ancestors aided the early settlers.
• The Delaware History Museum, run by the Historical Society of Delaware on Wilmington's Market Street Mall, for a buffet reception in her honor.
The first two events will be free and open to the public, but the event at the museum will be by invitation only, Allmond said.
At the museum, the princess finally will get to see portraits displayed there of the Rev. Ericus Björk - the first pastor of Old Swedes Church, opened in 1698 - and his wife, Christina Stalcup. Officials from the Swedish embassy in Washington, D.C., stood in for the princess when she was to unveil them in April after restoration for their world debut.
The paintings, said to be the oldest oil portraits painted in Delaware, are on loan from a Stockholm museum and were restored in a project financed by the Swedish Colonial Society.
From Delaware, the princess is to visit Philadelphia, then leave the country that night.
Educated at Yale, she is the oldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, who re-enacted the historic landing in Wilmington in 1988 for its 350th anniversary. She is next in line to the Swedish throne.
About 5 million Swedish-Americans live in the U.S., although there is no breakdown for Delaware, according to estimates from the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Delaware's Swedish link is visible in historic Delaware sites such as Old Swedes Church and the many places and landmarks in the state named for the Swedish settlers' queen, Christina.