Sweden's Queen Sylvia and King Carl XVI Gustav.

LADENBURG: A German innkeeper turned away Swedish King Carl Gustav and his wife Silvia, as she failed to recognise them when they arrived for lunch on a busy day, media reported on Saturday.

“I don't have time to read glossy magazines all day, so I did not recognise the queen when she asked for a table,” said Nadine Schellenberger, the innkeeper at Zum Gueldenen Stern (To the Golden Star) in the western German town of Ladenburg.

The restaurant was filled with a wedding party when they royal couple showed up on Thursday, Schellenberger said, so she suggested alternatives for them to try.

Her husband, chef Michael Schellenberger, said he feared for their reputation, and said ruefully, “We are now the idiots in Ladenburg.”

The Swedish king and his wife, a German citizen who was born in the nearby city of Heidelberg, ended up eating pizza in Ladenburg's market square.

“We will officially apologise to the royal court in Sweden,” Michael Schellenberger said. The Swedish royal family has not commented on the incident. - Sapa-dpa