The King and Queen visit the USA
The King and Queen with Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill. Photo: Stella Pictures
On Wednesday 8 May, The King and Queen began their visit to the USA. H.R.H. Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill also took part during the morning in New York. The King and Queen made their visit in connection with the 375th anniversary of the Kalmar Nyckel's arrival in Delaware and the first Swedish settlement in the USA.
The morning began for The King and Queen and The Princess Couple with a guided tour of the Castle Clinton national monument. One of the items they saw was a concert programme from 28 May 1851, when the Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind performed a concert at Castle Garden. Castle Clinton is in Battery Park, on the southern tip of Manhattan in New York. The fortification was built in 1812 as Castle Garden, a circular sandstone fort which was originally intended to keep the British away, but which eventually became a place for welcoming new immigrants. From 1855 until 1890, Castle Garden served as the USA's first official immigration centre. Over the years, two thirds of all immigrants — including 1.2 million Swedes — passed through Castle Garden. After their visit to Castle Garden, The King and Queen and The Princess Couple travelled by boat to Ellis Island in New York Harbour, which became an immigration station on 1 January 1892. The boat tour then continued to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty was unveiled on 28 October 1886, and was a gift to the USA from the people of France. The statue was designed by the sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, the framework was designed by the engineer Gustave Eiffel (best-known as the designer of the Eiffel Tower), and the base was designed by the American architect Richard Morris Hunt. Lunch was then served at the Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, New York. During the afternoon, The King and Queen travelled to Washington DC. In the evening, a dinner was held at the Swedish Residence, hosted by Swedish ambassador Jonas Hafström. A choir from the Swedish Church in New York sang during dinner.
New Sweden's 375th anniversary
The Kalmar Nyckel was a Dutch-built ship, built in around 1625 and in Swedish ownership from 1628. The Kalmar Nyckel and the Fågel Grip were the two vessels that conveyed the majority of the Swedish colonists to New Sweden from 1638 onwards. The ship then belonged to the Söderkompaniet trading company.
The colony of New Sweden was officially proclaimed in 1638 when the Swedish crown bought a piece of land from the Native American tribes at the Delaware River. The settlers named the place Christina after their queen.
Find out more about this year's 375th anniversary celebrations here.
Find out more about the New Sweden colony, the Kalmar Nyckel's arrival in Delaware and the first Swedish settlement in the USA here.