King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands met with both chairmen of the Dutch houses of parliament at Noordeinde Palace, Thursday. The meetings are part of his round of 'getting acquainted' with officialdom in the Netherlands.
The King is to meet with all the parliamentary partyleaders before the Summer recess. © RB; Bron: RVD; Foto's: © RVD ANP
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima made a triumphant start to their 2 day visit to Germany, as huge crowds welcomed them to Wiesbaden, ancient capital of Hesse.
The German state is also the ancient home of the Dutch royal family, as the founder of the dynasty, William of Orange was born in Dillenburg, in present day Hesse.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will pay an one day courtesy visit to Queen Margrethe II and Prince-consort Henrik of Denmark on June 25, the Dutch Government Information Service announced on Friday.
Queen Margrethe, godmother to the new Dutch king, will host a lunch for the royal couple. Willem-Alexander and Máxima will also meet with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and with the president of the Danish parliament.
The Dutch royals will start a series of one day courtesy visits next week, with visits to Luxembourg and Germany already announced and Belgium in preparation. © RB; Photo by © RPE
The Netherlands have a new King, the first time since 1890 the country has a King again. With pomp and circumstance and much jubilation Willem-Alexander was welcomed as the new monarch after Queen Beatrix had signed the Act of Abdication in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.
A photographic impression by Patrick van Katwijk
Princess Beatrix presents to the 25,000 people in front of the Royal Palace on Dam square in Amsterdam the Netherlands' New King: Willem-Alexander.
The new royal family of the Netherlands: King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane on the balcony of Amsterdam's Royal Palace.
Princess Beatrix, Princess Mabel and the three daughters of the new royal couple walk from the Royal Palace to the Nieuwe Kerk to attend the investiture or inauguration of King Willem-Alexander.
The ceremony is attended by representatives of 18 monarchies. The Japanese Crown Princess Masako and Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan are among the illustreous guests.
The new King and Queen make their way to Amsterdam's Nieuwe Kerk, just metres away from the Royal Palace. King Willem-Alexander will take the oath in a joint session of the States-General and representatives of the Dutch Caribbean countries of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten.
After the ceremony all the guests and members of the Dutch and other royal families returned to the Royal Palace for a reception in honour of the new King and Queen Máxima, including Princess Beatrix and her grandchildren and Princess Mabel.
Queen Máxima, King Willem-Alexander and the new Princess of Orange arrive for the evening's entertainment and dinner at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam, April 30.
© DPP Patrick van Katwijk
Queen Beatrix on the last full day of her 33 year reign hosted a dinner at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, attended by members of her family, foreign and national dignitaries, and royalty from all corners of the world. Rembrandt's Nightwatch watched over the gathering in the recently reopened museum's Gallery of Honour, which was splendidly decked out.
Although the guests dressed up in royal style, the atmosphere was informal and the Crown Princes and Crown Princess did not get out of the bus in a particular order. They mingled and chatted, as friends and colleagues would.
Japan's Crown Princess Masako did not come to the dinner. Some suggested Queen Beatrix might have encouraged her to spend the evening with her parents, who live in the Netherlands. The queen is family oriented and knows how important a family get together is, especially when seperated for so long and so far.
Masako was not the only one who went missing. Sheikha Moza of Qatar was not present at the dinner either. But that did not much to shorten the guest list, with Frederik and Mary of Denmark, Felipe and Letizia of Spain, Victoria and Daniel of Sweden, Naruhito, Philip and Mathilde of Belgium and Haakon and Mette-Marit of Norway, and Albert of Monaco. Princess Charlène could not make it. She is attending to charity work in South Africa.
Morocco was represented by Princess Lalla Salma, wife of King Mohammed VI. On the red carpet she was followed by Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath of Jordan, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and further distant Prince Albert, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and his wife Stéphanie.
The eldest and longest serving heir to (a) throne present was the Prince of Wales, who was accompanied by his wife Camilla. The Thai Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn however has also already clocked 41 years since becoming heir.
© RoyalblogNL, Hans Jacobs
It will be the largest gathering of foreign royalty in recent Dutch history. Maybe not in number of guests, as weddings tend to get more members of one family joining in the festivities, but certainly in number of monarchies represented. It is certainly a reflection of the appreciation and respect for Queen Beatrix, and for her son, Prince Willem-Alexander.
Just one day ahead of Queen Beatrix' farewell dinner at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Dutch Court finally released the list of royal and foreign guests. An A-list, with ALL of Europe's heirs *) under one roof Tuesday. Unique, as usually at least one is missing. The Prince of Wales missed almost all of the royal weddings, though he did come to the wedding of Willem-Alexander and Máxima in 2002.
[* Yes, it is true: Monaco is represented by the Sovereign Prince and not the heir to the throne. But although his sister Princess Caroline is first in line to the throne is not normally treated or regarded as 'Crown Princess']
Not only are all *) the European Crown Princes and Crown Princesses attending, many of their peers from the around the globe will be present as well. And here too the line-up is as unusual as it is exceptional. Japan sends its Crown Princely couple, for Crown Princess Masako her first official overseas engagement in 11 years. Thailand, Brunei and Bahrain are represented by their Crown Princess, Jordan by its former Crown Prince (and close friend of the Dutch royal family), Qatar and Morocco send the royal spouses.
The guest list as announced by the Dutch Court:
BAHRAIN: Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The heir to the throne of the tiny Gulf kingdom comes to Amsterdam in a good mood. The Formula 1 Grand Prix went ahead without too many disturbances and unrest, as opposed to 2012 and its cancellation in 2011 due to political unrest and demands for more freedom and democracy. Salman, 43, is seen as a moderate in a royal family of hardliners.
BELGIUM: Prince Philip and Princess Mathilde. The Duke of Brabant, 53, has been heir for 20 years after the unexpected accession of his father King Albert II in 1993. Many observers in Belgium expect the 78-year old king to abdicate in the near future, although many politicians have doubts about prince Filip/Philippe’s abilities.
BRUNEI: Prince Billah and Princess Sarah. The Crown Princely couple of the oil and gas rich sultanate on the island of Borneo make their first appearance at a large royal gathering outside South East Asia. They met Willem-Alexander and Máxima in January when Queen Beatrix paid a State Visit to Brunei. She announced her abdication one week after the visit. Prince Billah, who is shy in public, is 39.
DENMARK: Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. The Danish heir, 44, is a good friend of Willem-Alexander. They met often at family gatherings – Queen Margarethe is the Dutch prince’s godmother – and recently also at meetings of the IOC. Frederik’s turn at kingship will come after his mother passes away. Abdication is not on the books.
JAPAN: Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako. The announcement in Tokyo that after much deliberations Masako was allowed to travel to the Netherlands came as a pleasant surprise to ‘royalty watchers’ the world over. Masako has kept in close touch with the Dutch royals ever since they invited her, Naruhito, 53 and daughter Aiko to a much needed vacation at ‘Oude Loo’ in 2006. Masako’s parents live in the Netherlands as well.
JORDAN: Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath. The former Crown Prince of the Hashemite kingdom is a good friend to most of the European royal houses and the Dutch are no exception. Hassan, 66, is a frequent guest in the Netherlands and the Dutch royals attended the major events in his family.
LIECHTENSTEIN: Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie, Duchess in Bavaria. The day to day affairs of the tiny principality wedged between Switzerland, the river Rhine and Austria are run by Prince Alois, 44, who took over from his father reigning Prince Hans Adam II in 2004. Although Hans Adam considered stepping down, he has not done so.
LUXEMBOURG: Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie. The youngest of the current generation of heirs, Guillaume, 31, is only seven months older than the ‘first’ of the next generation, Britain’s Prince William. Guillaume, although younger than the others, has always been included in their get togethers, and they all showed up for his elaborate wedding last year.
MONACO: Sovereign Prince Albert II. The odd one out. The only head of state among the guests. Albert, 55, is a good friend of Willem-Alexander, with whom he shared membership in the International Olympic Committee. The prince's involvement with water, the effects climate change, the Arctic and sustainability also brought him in contact with Willem-Alexander, who shared a UN advisory board on water and sanitation. Albert leaves his wife Charlène at home.
MOROCCO: Princess Lalla Salma. The wife of King Mohammed VI often represents her country at royal get togethers and festivities abroad. Lalla Salma met Princess Máxima in 2005 when the Dutch royal couple visited Marrakech. Lalla Salma, 34, last year also attended the wedding of Luxembourg Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume.
NORWAY: Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Máxima’s first first hand experience at a foreign royal function was the wedding of Norway’s heir, Haakon, now 39, although she had been invited to the King of Sweden’s silver wedding celebration too. The two crownprincely couples have remained close ever since, coming together to sail and compare notes. Máxima is godmother to Prince Sverre Magnus.
QATAR: Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Misned. The second of the three wives of Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has visited the Netherlands before and spent time with Princess Máxima learning about the work of the Orange Fund, the social charity of the Dutch princely couple. Queen Beatrix, Willem-Alexander and Máxima went on a State Visit to the Gulf emirate in 2011. Sheikha Moza, 53, plays an important part in the country's public life.
SPAIN: Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia. The Prince of Asturias, 45, has to watch is every step as the monarchy in Spain is under ever increasing scrunity because of the conduct of his brother in law Iñaki Urdangarín and King Juan Carlos’ errors of judgement and health problems. Abdication is now openly discussed, so Felipe and Letizia will pay extra attention in Amsterdam – no doubt smiling as they hear the Dutch national anthem which claims ‘the King of Spain is always honoured’.
UNITED KINGDOM: Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The Prince of Wales, 64, is the longest waiting heir in British history. In 1980 he already represented his mother Queen Elizabeth II at the inauguration of Queen Beatrix. Now, 33 years later, his back for yet another accession ceremony – still waiting himself. The Duchess of Cornwall makes her debute at a Dutch royal function.
SWEDEN: Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. In the nineties immaginative and uninformed matchmakers had it in for Victoria, now 35, and Prince Willem-Alexander. Protocol meant they were often seated together at official gatherings, so they were frequently seen together. The two, although ten years apart in age, get along very well. Victoria is godmother to Princess Amalia, Willem-Alexander is godfather to Princess Estelle.
THAILAND: Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, Princess Maha Sirindhorn. Brother and sister are representing the world's longest reigning monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (since 1946 and counting). Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, 60, shares with the Prince of Wales the long wait for the throne (41 years), and a turbulent private life. The Crown Prince's sister Princess Sirindhorn, 58, has had long standing friendly relations with the Dutch royal family.
The Sultanate of Oman is represented by Haitham bin Tareq Al Said, minister of Heritage and Cukture and family of Sultan Qaboos. He has welcomed the Dutch royals three times to Oman.
The United Arab Emirates are represented by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Possibly some princely houses from Germany - e.g. Waldeck-Pyrmont, Lippe-Biesterfeld - and Von Bismarck have been invited as well, by they are - Dutch custom - not mentioned on the guest list.
CANADA will be presented by Governor-General David Johnston and Mrs Sharon Johnston. The Dutch royal family, including the young Princess Beatrix, spent the war years in Ottawa. Princess Margriet was born there in 1943.
GERMANY is represented by former President of the Bundestag, Rita Süssmuth and her husband.
TURKEY is represented by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and his wife.
The European Union too is sending a delegation, with Commission president José Manuel Barroso, European Parliament president Martin Schultz and European Council president Herman Van Rompuy. The IOC sends Count Jaques Rogge, and former UN-secretary-general Kofi Annan will be in Amsterdam as well.
© RoyalblogNL, Hans Jacobs; Guests confirmed as of 4/28/2013
Queen Beatrix on April 13 re-opened the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum on Monday will see her close her 33 year reign with a dinner in its Gallery of Honour. After that all that will be left for the 75-year old monarch is to sign the Act of Abdication in the Royal Palace, Tuesday morning. The moment her signature is on paper her son Willem-Alexander will be the new King.
Royal guests from around the world have been invited to the farewell dinner of Queen Beatrix, who succeeded to the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on April 30, 1980. Her family will be present too, along with other special guests in the most prestigious Gallery of the Netherlands’ most prestigious museum.
Rembrandt’s world famous Nightwatch will be the background to the gathering of most of the wordl's heirs to the throne, including of course the Dutch King-in-waiting Willem-Alexander and his wife Máxima. At the same time the guests are sitting down for dinner Queen Beatrix will address the nation in a pre-recorded and much anticipated farewell speech.
The Queen extended her reign long enough to see the re-opening of the Rijksmuseum, which closed for refurbishing and renovation late 2003. ‘The renovation, which cost 375m Euros (£320m), had been delayed by flooding, asbestos and a cycle access dispute’, the BBC reported earlier this month.
The reviews of the revamped museum however have been uniform in their praise.
‘The rejuvenated Rijksmuseum is back at the heart of Amsterdam, and it is time that you came back to this most creative of cities, which decorates the map of Europe so elegantly’, The Independent wrote.
‘Never has a national museum reopened to such scenes of fervency. The restored, extended and rejigged Rijksmuseum is a triumph of curatorial intelligence and sensitivity. Once again - at last - the world can experience the richness of the greatest art tradition ever produced by a tiny, sea-hemmed nation: from Vermeer to Van Gogh, Rembrandt to Mondrian’, the Daily Telegraph said.
The Queen’s opinion is not known, but by selecting the Rijksmuseum for her final public appearance as queen – apart from the abdication – she is showing her approval. Read also: Queen Beatrix reopens Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.
© RoyalblogNL, Hans Jacobs. Photos of the re-opening.
The Serbian royal family gathered at the London Serbian Orthodox St Sava Church to commemorate Queen Maria of Yugoslavia, whose mortal remains were exhumed at the Royal Burialground at Frogmore in Windsor this weekend.
The coffin of Queen Maria will be transported to Belgrade on Monday.
© RoyalblogNL, Photo's EXCLUSIVE: © RB Marius Cirtiu