Long ago I lived in Sweden, which still reminds every visitor that it used to own and operate Norway. Still, I was glad to hear that King Harald - the Norwegian monarch since 1991 - and Queen Sonja would pay a weeklong visit to Minnesota next month. The state was last on their itinerary in 1995 (photo by Tom Sweeney shows them in the basement of the Mindekirken, the Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, 924 E. 21st St.).

So far, the royals' Minneapolis itinerary includes a church service Oct. 16 at Augsburg College, and, according to royalty-watcher Barbara Flanagan, a banquet at the Minneapolis Hilton.

These days, it's a lot easier to find tortillas than lefse around here, but I'm sure our city will roll out the red carpet for the king and queen, if past performance is any measure of future results.

Some snapshots of past Norwegian royal visits to Minneapolis, from the Star Tribune vault:


King Olav at Orchestra Hall, 1975 (photo by Mike Zerby)



















King Olav on his way to the YWCA on Nicollet Mall, 1982 (photo by Bruce Bisping)










King Olav on his last visit, at the state dinner at the Minneapolis Marriott, 1987 (photo by Brian Peterson)