Sunday, December 7, 2008
We were eating breakfast the next morning when Anna came rushing in, announcing 'I did it. I did it'. I asked 'What did you do? ''I wrote a letter to the King.' I said 'May we read it before you send it? She said 'Of course.'
I do not have a copy of her actual letter. This is what I remember of it. Dear King, My family and I came from America yesterday. I was surprised to hear that you are a neighbor of ours. I have never met a real live King. Could you come to our house and have Tea or Coca Cola.
I thought the letter was so to the point, and so child like, I put it in an envelope and mailed it for her.
Three days later there was a letter in the mailbox. So official and so important looking, the mailman must have bowed as he put it in my mother's mailbox. Anna still has it in her memory box from that trip. This is what the letter said.
My Dear Anna, I am desired by His Majesty the King to acknowledge the receipt of your lines of July 5th. The King had pleasure in reading your letter and asks me to inform you that the gardens of Sofiero are daily open to the public between one and two p.m. So if you and your mother and brother and sisters come here during that hour any day next week and about two o'clock ask the policeman stationed in the park to phone me, I will tell his Majesty, who will then come out and have a chat with you and yours. C.F. Palmsteirna, private secretary to H M the King
Well we had a nervous week-end and rehearsed how to make a curtsey, how to take a picture and what should we wear and what should we talk about and rememeber not to turn around until he has turned around. The children asked me not to speak Swedish with him so they would know what was going on. How do you know he knows how to speak English, they asked. I know, because he was married to an English Princess.
Everything worked like magic. All the females in the group forgot to curtsey. We were waiting by the back stairs of the Castle when HM the King came down the stairs. He was gracious and kindly and actually a handsome man. I forget what we talked about. He asked each child a pertinent questions and they answered without any ers and ers. He even gave me a question and I do not remember in detail but something about why had I emigrated. Then he told us he was going to Bastad to watch a tennis match.
The children, especially the younger ones were very disappointed. He did not wear ermine or red velvet robes and no crown. He was actually wearing Pat Boone shoes. I prayed that the one picture I took of the event would turn out to be a success.