King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden arrived in the Twin Cities on Thursday for a three-day visit.
The royals toured the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis and dedicated the institute's new Nelson Cultural Center.
The institute's director of development, Christy Stolpestad, says they have been preparing for the visit for more than a year.
"We are honored with the king's royal patronage," Stolpestad said. "We are one of the few organizations in the United States to receive that honor, so it's important for us involved and interested in an organization that they have supported for many, many years. We want them to feel a part of what is going on here."
The king and queen toured the American Swedish Institute's newest green technology and a recently installed gallery of tapestries.
They also visited with children learning traditional Swedish arts and crafts, including 10-year-old Alexander Love.
"The queen helped me with my project," Alexander said. I thought they would come with their crowns but ... it might attract too much attention."
The royal visit coincided with a national Swedish holiday, Cinnamon Bun Day. The king and queen celebrated at the institute with a small group of guests and the appropriate snack.
They will visit Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., on Friday to help mark the 150th anniversary of its founding by Swedish immigrants.