No time is wasted. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit all 12 provinces of the Netherlands in little less than a month. In November they will travel to the Dutch Caribbean islands too, it was announced on Friday.
'Joyous entries' are an ancient tradition, dating back to the Middle Ages when new sovereign presented themselves to the main sites and regions of their Kingdom to renew the pledges and links between them. Nowadays it is still maintained in the European monarchies - in a different form.
Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa toured Luxembourg after Henri succeeded his father Grand Duke Jean; Willem-Alexander and Máxima made a tour of the Netherlands after their engagement and Belgium's Prince Philip presented his wife Princess Mathilde to the people in the far corners of the country.
Willem-Alexander follows the schedule his mother Queen Beatrix kept in 1980: two provinces per day. Mind you, the Netherlands are not that big. It can be done. But it is quite a change from his grandmother Queen Juliana's days. She took two days for each province back in 1949-1950.The new royal couple will follow this schedule:
- 28 May Groningen / Drenthe
- 30 May Gelderland / Utrecht
- 12 June Limburg / Noord-Brabant
- 14 June Fryslân / Noord-Holland
- 19 June Flevoland / Overijssel
- 21 June Zeeland / Zuid-Holland
They will visit Germany 3-6 June it was announced earlier in the week. The visit was already scheduled for the Prince and Princess and they will try to keep some of their original programme as they now also have to include a courtesy visit to Berlin to meet with German President Joachim Gauck. © RB