Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Olav and Martha are in Chicago

May 5, 1939

Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha of Norway attended a formal banquet at the Loop hotel tonight, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune. About 1500 guests were invited to the dinner, which was the Norwegian couple's final event during their three-day visit to Chicago. They leave Chicago tomorrow for La Cross, Wisconsin, and Decorah, Iowa. They will also visit the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Los Angeles.

Earlier today, the royal couple "traveled the length and breath of Chicago," as their limousine blared "in an out of traffic. They visited the University of Chicago, "whisked by Northwestern university, shook hands with dozens of Norwegian-Americans and smiled graciously to thousands of patient people who stood for hours to greet them."

The Crown Princess spent some time with children at the Lutheran Home Finding Society and Evanston Cradle. Crown Prince Olav had lunch "of beer and steak" at the Saddle and Sirloin Club as the guest of Thomas E. Wilson. He also had a chance to drive Mr. Wilson's six horse train.

At one point, however, the Crown Princess slipped away from her official duties. Accompanied by her lady-in-waiting, Crown Princess Martha left the Blackmore hotel. They removed the official flags off the official car and got in. The princess unpinned her corsage "and laid back her cape of silver fox. She ordered the driver to drive "to a department store. "And quickly. I want to buy some slippers And I want to be alone."

For a few minutes, the princess got her wish. Afterward, she rejoined her husband.

The gala dinner was held at the Banquet House, where Martha was "gowned sumptuously and wearing a jeweled tiara, and Olav continued to appear "tireless and appreciative."
The Crown Prince said that he and his wife would take back to Norway a "deep friendship for your city and your people."

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