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Swedish Monarchs Visit St. Peter

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ST. PETER, MINN. -

For the first time since 1996 Swedish Monarchs are visiting St. Peter to help celebrate Gustavus Adolphus' sesquicentennial anniversary.

Minnesota is home to the country's largest Swedish population, so when King Carl the 16th Gustaf and Queen Silvia came to Gustavus, the received a big Välkommen.

Beth Crawford says, "I thought it would be great to be part of our heritage and we are so proud of being Swedish."

It's not to often royalty comes to a small town like St. Peter, so it was a visit students Katie Landreville and Sarah Cornell didn't want to miss.

Sarah Cornell says, "It only happens every once and awhile, its so it's exciting to be a part of,

Katie Landreville says, "It's exciting that a king and queen from a country in Europe is coming to Saint Peter."

For Landreville, the royals coming also brings a bit of nerves; her quintet is playing for their majesties.

Landreville jokingly says, "We hope we don't mess up otherwise we are afraid the queen is going to be like 'off with their heads,' obviously she wouldn't do, but we are really excited for them."

Gustavus was founded in 1862 by Swedish immigrants, and the university says today's visit, 150 years later, shows that connection to Sweden remains.

Gustavus VP for Institutional Advancement Thomas Young says, "To have a royal visit is in one sense the ultimate affirmation of this link we maintain with Sweden."

In a speech at Christ Chapel, King Gustav celebrated those who immigrated to America from Sweden and the impact they have had.

Gustaf says, "We have left a certain mark on the United States, and especially here in MN."

And today, the King and Queen left a special mark on St. Peter.  For most, the brush with royalty was brief, but meant it the world.

Crawford says, "It's a once in a lifetime chance actually see the king and queen."