Seventy-five years ago, readers of The Minneapolis Journal, April 22nd evening edition, saw large bold headlines: “THOUSANDS CHEER IN WELCOME TO DANISH ROYALTY STREETS DECKED WITH FLAGS FOR PRINCE AND PRINCESS WILL MEET PUBLIC AT AUDITORIUM RECEPTION TONIGHT”
Readers of DANEBO, the April issue, had already learned of the forthcoming royal visit. On the front page of Vol. 4, No 13, Meta L. Lillienskiold announced: “It is with pleasure that I today bring to Danebo’s many friends some very important news. Perhaps you already knew that Danish royalty will be the honored guests of the Twin Cities in April, but you don’t know that the executive committee for our Crown Prince and Crown Princess entertainment here, on which committee Danebo’s president is also the chairman, are planning and hoping to have their Highnesses stop at Danebo on a sightseeing tour in the early afternoon of April 22nd.”
The royal visitors, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Ingrid, arrived by train on the evening of April 21 and attended a symphony concert, featuring soprano Kirsten Flagstad, and conducted by Dmitri Mitropoulos. The next day they toured the Twin Cities, meeting local dignitaries, before attending a formal banquet and reception in their honor at the Minneapolis Auditorium.
The Danish Male Chorus, directed by Peter Kirkegaard, performed, as did the Combined Scandinavian Chorus and United Scandinavian Folkdancers. Governor Harold E. Stassen introduced His Royal Highness. The Journal had characterized the royal visitors as “goodwill ambassadors” and printed a headline “PRINCE SILENT ON POLITICS AND PEACE.” In 1939, Europe was teetering on the brink of World War II.
Other headlines in the paper read: “THE NAZI SHADOW OVER GREECE,” “BRITISH ANTI AIRCRAFT GUNS IN ACTION,” and “DICTATOR SHAKING WORLD.” When asked if he could make some remarks on world peace, the Crown Prince smiled and declined graciously.
However, Crown Princess Ingrid gave an extensive interview, saying that she loved to travel, play tennis, ride and swim but that she also enjoyed needlework, cooking and flowers. And she shared that, if she were not a Crown Princess, she would be a social worker. Another headline read “STYLISH INGRID THRILLS GIRLS”
On April 22, 1939, Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Ingrid participated in a sesquicentennial tree planting in front of Danebo to celebrate American government 1789 – 1939.