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North Dakota's annual Scandinavian festival welcomes Norwegian princess

Norway's Princess Astrid arrived for the Norsk Høstfest, North Dakota's annual Scandinavian festival.

The princess, who is the sister of Norway King Harald V, arrived Monday to attend the festival that she last visited in 1983, the Minot Daily News reported.

The princess is among those being honored at a Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame Banquet on Wednesday night. She is to receive an award for her contribution to international good will and for promoting cultural ties between the U.S. and Norway.

Local resident Carla Reiten wore a colorful Norwegian dress called a bunad when she greeted the princess. Her mother-in-law, Joy Reiten, had worn it to greet Princess Astrid in 1983.

"This bunad was made in '83, the first time Princess Astrid came," Reiten said. "And my mother-in-law is elderly now, and she can't wear it, so I wore it."

Reiten said Princess Astrid is "a beautiful lady. Very elegant."

Nine-year-old John Reiten presented the princess with a bouquet of flowers and said he enjoyed meeting her even though he had to miss another event.

"I missed a birthday party," he said.

His mother laughed and said the royal visit probably is "one of those things he'll appreciate more a few years from now."

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