Norway Royalty Tours Duluth

By KBJR News 1

October 17, 2011 Updated Oct 18, 2011 at 9:56 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - From a royal luncheon to a visit to a Norway lodge, for everyone involved it was a day fit for a king.

Excitement was in the air this morning as those at the DECC awaited the arrival of Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway.

Mayor Don Ness practiced his royal welcome before greeting the royal couple at a luncheon.

"We are proud of our Norwegian heritage. Thousands of Duluthians share in Norwegian ancestry," said Duluth Mayor Don Ness.

King Harald spoke before the meal was served, telling how America holds a special place in his heart, as this is the country his family fled to during World War II.

"President Roosevelt and the American people reached out and gave my mother, my sisters, and me a safe harbor. We remain grateful for the years we were allowed to spend in the United States. Where ever life takes me, I will always take a piece of America with me in my heart," said King Harald V.

Following the meal the royal couple, along with a motorcade that included state and local dignitaries made their way to the Sons of Norway Lodge on Lake Avenue.

Hundreds lined the street in anticipation for Their Majesties arrival.

Leaders with the Sons of Norway Lodge in Duluth say while everyone is excited about Monday's royal visit, their visit to the lodge is especially exciting for their membership .

"But especially for Son's of Norway members it's an opportunity to enhance their connection we share in our beloved heritage," said one of the leaders of the Sons of Norway Lodge in Duluth.

The King and Queen are scheduled to head back to New York on Tuesday.