The King and Queen visit the USA, day 4
The King with US Vice President Joe Biden at the reception at the Chase Center in Wilmington. Photo: The Swedish Embassy in Washington
On Saturday 11 May, The King and Queen continued their visit to the USA. The day began in Philadelphia, and continued during the afternoon in Wilmington. During the day, The King and Queen travelled with Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Eero Heinäluoma and his wife Satu Siitonen-Heinäluoma.
The day began with a seminar at the Independence Seaport Museum. The theme was "Making it in America", and the seminar dealt with Swedes and Finns who have achieved success in the US. Mayor of Philadelphia Michael A. Nutter gave a welcoming address.
The King and Queen at the Finnish Monument. Photo: Stella Pictures
They then visited the Finnish Monument in Chester. The monument was a joint gift from the people of Finland and Americans of Finnish descent to commemorate the first Finnish settlers in North America. The monument was designed by Wäinö Aaltonen and erected in 1938.
The King and Queen at the Buena Vista Plantation in Wilmington, together with Governor of Delaware Jack A. Markell and his wife Carla, and Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Eero Heinäluoma and his wife Satu Siitonen-Heinäluoma. Photo: Maja Suslin/Scanpix
Lunch was served at the Buena Vista Plantation, and was hosted by Governor of Delaware Jack A. Markell. It was Governor Markell who invited The King and Queen to the celebrations in Wilmington. At lunch, The King gave a speech in which he said: "That early emigration also had a profound impact on Sweden and Finland. Many families in our two countries have relatives on this side of the Atlantic, and therefore grass root contacts have tied our countries together for centuries." You can read The King's speech in full here.
Wilmington's final preparations for the arrival of The King and Queen. Photo: Stella Pictures
The King and Queen, with the Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Eero Heinäluoma and his wife Satu Siitonen-Heinäluoma, in Wilmington. Photo: Stella Pictures
After lunch, The King and Queen joined in the celebrations in Wilmington. Mayor of Wilmington Dennis P. Williams welcomed the visitors, and the Wilmington Children's Chorus sang national anthems.
On board the Kalmar Nyckel. Photo: Stella Pictures
The King and Queen then sailed on a replica of the Kalmar Nyckel to Fort Christina. Fort Christina was the first Swedish settlement in North America. It was built in 1638, and was named after Queen Christina. On arrival, The King and Queen took part in a ceremony at the Delaware Monument in Fort Christina Park. The monument was created by Carl Milles, and was unveiled in 1938 to mark the 300th anniversary of New Sweden. Prince Bertil and President Franklin D. Roosevelt took part in the ceremony. A copy of the monument has stood on Gothenburg's Sten Pier since 1958. There then followed a visit to Old Swedes Church, where The King and Queen attended a service. The church is Pennsylvania's oldest church, and was built in 1698-99.
US Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech at the reception at the Chase Center in Wilmington. Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill also attended, and are seen here with Governor of Delaware Jack A. Markell. Photo: Stella Pictures
The day concluded with a reception and gala dinner at the Chase Center in Wilmington, which Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill also attended. During the reception, US Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech. The King also gave a speech at the dinner, in which he said:
"I think that all of those early immigrants shared the same values: hard work, strong faith and a belief in the opportunities of their new homeland. And also, they became a vital part of the United States of America. Today's relationship and partnership between Sweden and the United States is bound by these same values."
You can read The King's speech in full here.
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.