Royalty doesn’t come to Jamestown, North Dakota, often.
Back in July of 1926, we got a visit from the Crown
Prince and Princess of Sweden. At least for a few minutes.
Prince Gustaus Adolphus and his wife Princess Louise made
a stop at the Jamestown Depot on the evening of July 1, 1926. And Jamestown was
ready for them.
The train rolled into the depot in the evening. The royal
couple was greeted by a group of singers, identified in the paper only as a
Jamestown male quartet, singing the Swedish National Anthem. This was followed
by Mayor C.B. Buckley, making what was termed a humorous speech asking the
royal couple to spend a few days in town enjoying the sites.
It was considered humorous because it was just a whistle
stop while the train was replenished with water and coal before continuing west
towards Yellowstone National Park.
The Prince addressed the crowd here in Jamestown in
Swedish. There at least a few from the old country who probably enjoyed the
words of encouragement from the old country royal family.
Evidently the newspaper reporter didn’t speak Swedish,
whatever the comments by Gustaus they didn’t make it into the newspaper.
Prince Gustaus was what is referred to as a Crown Prince.
This means he is the direct heir to the thrown in his country. Other royal
descendants can be called a prince or princess but only the Crown Prince is
just waiting around for the old man to die so they can become king.
Gustaus had a long wait. He was already 42-years-old when
he visited Jamestown. It wasn’t until 1950, when he was 67, that the position
of King finally opened up.
In the meantime Gustaus had married twice. After his
first wife, Princess Margaret, died he married Lady Louise. Both were
descendants of the British Royal Family.
In fact the children of his first wife and Lady Louise were all
considered great grandchildren of the English Queen Victoria.
Which had to make for a complicated family gathering at
The histories say that King Gustaus, he reigned from 1950
until his death in 1973, was a popular king. In fact, his popularity is
probably responsible for the new Swedish Constitution retaining a monarchy.
And he was popular in Jamestown. An estimated 3,000
people gathered at the depot on that July evening. A lot were probably of
Swedish descent but many had to just be gathered to see some royalty.
After all, it wasn’t often that Crown Prince and Princess
paid a visit to Jamestown. Even if it was just for water and coal.