King to attend Future Force Conference 2015

2 March 2015

His Majesty the King will attend the close of the Future Force Conference 2015 at the National Military Museum in Soest on 25 March. Prior to the event, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR), General Philip M. Breedlove, will have an audience with the King at the museum.

The three-day conference will focus on the armed forces of the future. Chief of Defence General Tom Middendorp has invited an international group of civil and military partners in industry, government and research to identify future security challenges and discuss possible solutions. The results of the conference are to contribute to the continued development and deployability of the Dutch armed forces.

State visit to Canada

26 February 2015

At the invitation of Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs Sharon Johnston, Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will pay a state visit to Canada from Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 May 2015.

They will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders.

Coinciding with the state visit, Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, will head an economic mission and Jet Bussemaker, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science will head an academic mission.

King and Queen to visit Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg (2)

20 February 2015

On Thursday 19 and Friday 20 March 2015 Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit the German federal states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg.
The King and Queen will be accompanied by Lilianne Ploumen, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, who is leading a parallel two-day economic mission to the same region. The aim of the visit is to deepen trade and investment relations and to promote cooperation in a variety of sectors, particularly energy, life sciences and health. There will also be a focus on the creative industries, the maritime sector and organic farming.

The visit directly follows on from Their Majesties' state visit to Denmark on 17 and 18 March. As in that visit, energy will occupy an important place on the agenda, especially during a trilateral seminar with participants from the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany on Thursday 19 March.

19 March: Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg

Medical technology (Lübeck)

On the morning of Thursday 29 March, Torsten Albig, the Premier of Schleswig-Holstein, will receive the King and Queen in the market square in the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. After speaking with Mr Albig in Lübeck's town hall, Their Majesties will be taken to the premises of Dräger Medical, a company producing high-grade medical equipment for use in hospitals. While there, the various parties will discuss the central theme of 'smart care', and the shared healthcare challenges faced by Germany and the Netherlands - such as demographic ageing, digitisation and rising care costs. There will also be opportunities to explore the added value Dutch and German partners can offer each other in relation to these challenges. After this, Ms Ploumen will deliver a speech to representatives of Dutch and German businesses, in the presence of the King and Queen.

Their Majesties will then proceed to one of the Dräger test laboratories, they will be shown a variety of medical systems and will meet with representatives from Dutch and German businesses in the life sciences and health sectors. Representatives of 25 Dutch businesses will take part in the meeting, including livestock veterinarian, Gijsbert van de Wijdeven, inventor of the Bioneedle. The soluble Bioneedle, which is a new, quicker and safer way to vaccinate both humans and animals, was proclaimed as one of the National Icons in 2014.

Organic farming, horticulture and food production (Trenthorst)

In the afternoon, the King and Queen will travel to the Thünen Institute for Organic Farming in Trenthorst. Their Majesties - accompanied by German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Christian Schmidt - will see the institute's farm and learn about practical research into animal-friendly livestock husbandry, modern stable design and better feed for dairy cattle, with a focus on both human and animal health. The institute is also researching ways in which the organic sector can increase its competitiveness.

At a networking meeting, the Thünen Institute, Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Bionext research institute and the Louis Bolk Institute will sign a Letter of Intent aimed at furthering their cooperation in the sustainable agriculture, food and health sectors.

Trilateral networking event on offshore wind energy (Hamburg)

The King and Queen's visit to Hamburg will begin with a meeting with Mayor Olaf Scholz at Hamburg's town hall.

Their Majesties will then attend the closing session of a trilateral seminar on offshore wind energy at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. Representatives from Dutch, Danish and German research institutions, government agencies and the private sector will come together to discuss the joint contribution all three countries can make to the European energy transition and explore possible solutions to challenges like climate change and the global population boom. The Netherlands has a great deal of expertise in offshore technology, while Germany's and Denmark's knowledge is primarily onshore.

The King and Queen will be briefed on the major conclusions of the seminar. His Majesty will then deliver a speech, after which participating businesses will present various models and real-world examples to the royal couple.

20 March: Hamburg

Cross-border maritime cooperation

On the morning of Friday 20 March, the King and Queen will attend a meeting of Dutch and German businesses at Hamburg's Fischauktionshalle on the opportunities Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) presents for maritime industry. LNG's status as an environmentally-friendly fuel means it can help reduce maritime vessel emissions and improve air quality in port cities. It also offers opportunities for operating and maintaining offshore wind farms. Businesses from across the entire sector will be present at the meeting, including shipyards, shipping companies and system suppliers.

The royal couple will then be given a tour of the LNG Hybrid Barge, where LNG is converted into electrical power. From mid-2015, the barge, christened the Hummel, will be used as a mobile electricity generator for cruise ships docked in Hamburg. Dutch and German partners are closely involved in the venture: Germany's Becker Marine Systems will be responsible for operating the barge, while the LNG will come from the Gate LNG terminal in Rotterdam and will be transported to Hamburg by Shell Germany.

Stage Entertainment: partnering in theatre technology

The King and Queen will then proceed to the Joop van den Ende Academy, which focuses on innovation and internationalisation in theatre technology. After being received by Joop van den Ende, owner of Stage Entertainment, Their Majesties will be shown the newest developments in the worlds of set, lighting and sound design, which bring together businesses, network organisations and governments from both Germany and the Netherlands. Dutch expertise in this domain is also in the field of education. This can be seen in the Amsterdam School for the Arts' Creative Engineering in the Performing Arts course, where artistry and craftsmanship come together. The royal couple will then watch a dance lesson and singing lesson at the academy.

Sustainable mobility in the city

Their Majesties will remain at the academy to attend an interactive workshop on 'intelligent mobility in the city'. Barbera Wolfensberger, the standard bearer for the Netherlands' creative industries sector, will meet with the King and Queen. Dutch and German policymakers, institutions, businesses and universities will engage with one another and brainstorm new forms of water- and land-based public transportation. The city of Hamburg will present 'Projekt Hamburg 2030', a plan for the future centring primarily on sustainable transport.

To mark the end of the visit, Mayor Scholz will host an official luncheon, or Senatsfrühstück, for the King and Queen at the Hamburg town hall.


State visit to Denmark (2)

20 February 2015

Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will pay a state visit to Denmark from 17 to 19 March 2015 at the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe and His Royal Highness The Prince Consort.

The King and Queen will be accompanied on their visit by foreign minister Bert Koenders. The state visit, which coincides with an economic mission by representatives of the sustainable energy, wind power and medical technology sectors, will strengthen the already excellent relations between Denmark and the Netherlands. It will also offer an opportunity for reinforcing existing economic and social cooperation with Denmark. The sharing of knowledge and experiences will play a central role.

Tuesday 17 March

After the welcome ceremony at Copenhagen Airport the King and Queen will meet Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik at Fredensborg Palace. The Danish prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, will host a lunch for the King and Queen at Christiansborg Palace.

Their Majesties will attend selected sessions at the conference 'A social coherent society: prospects for societal development in Denmark and the Netherlands', which will be taking place at the Copenhagen campus of Aalborg University. Both countries have top rankings on the World Happiness Index, Denmark leading the list and the Netherlands coming in fourth. Danish and Dutch scholars, publicists and students will compare and contrast developments in their respective societies. Themes to be addressed include welfare and families, happiness, security and trust, solidarity and immigration. The King and Queen will participate in roundtable discussions with speakers and other attendees.

Their Majesties will host a reception for the Dutch community in Denmark before attending a state banquet in their honour at Christiansborg Palace. This will conclude the first day of the state visit.

Wednesday 18 March

The King and Queen will visit the island of Samsø, accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. On board the Samsø ferry, they will discuss sustainable energy policy with representatives of the Dutch and Danish government and private sectors.

Samsø is carbon-neutral, thanks to wind power and other sustainable energy sources. The island's inhabitants paid and own 11 onshore and 10 offshore wind turbines, which provide power to the entire island. Any power that is not used is exported to the mainland. Samsø also has solar collectors and a district heating plant that burns straw to supply warm water to the surrounding villages. Home care workers and mail carriers do their rounds in electric cars.

After an official welcome by the mayor of Samsø the royal party will visit an 'efterskole', a special type of boarding school, in Besser. It is customary for Danish teenagers to spend a year at an efterskole where they can explore options for further education and future careers. An efterskole offers all the usual school subjects, but also enables pupils to pursue specific interests, such as music, theatre, sports or nature. The efterskole in Besser focuses on aquatic sports, diving, aviation and golf. Pupils will give the royal party a tour of the school.

After visiting the school, the King and Queen and their hosts will visit the district heating plant which uses locally produced straw to heat water for 300 households in the village nearby.

The last part of the Samsø programme will be a visit to the Energy Academy. Here, the island's energy consumption is studied in detail, with a view to achieving maximum sustainability and the lowest possible consumption. The royal party will attend a discussion about the island's energy cooperative with island residents and representatives of Dutch and Danish companies. After a lunch, with local products, the royal party will return to the mainland.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will then visit Bispebjerg Hospital. The hospital is undergoing a major expansion and, when completed, will be one of five mega-hospitals in Denmark. The new complex will be characterised by efficiency and the highest level of service. The King and Queen will attend a presentation about the mega-hospital's organisation and design, and visit the stands of Dutch and Danish companies that hope to contribute to the project.

In the evening the royal couple will, by way of a reciprocal gesture, host a modern dance performance by the International Choreographic Arts Centre for contemporary dance (ICKamsterdam). As well as making their own dance productions, ICKamsterdam provides artistic and commercialsupport to talented young performers. They also share their expertise in research and educational projects.

Thursday 19 March

The state visit will end with an official leave-taking of Queen Margrethe and Prince Consort on Thursday morning.

Photo session in Lech

19 January 2015

On Monday 23 February 2015 there will be a winter holiday photo session in Lech, Austria, with His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, Her Majesty Queen Máxima, and Their Royal Highnesses Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane.

King and Queen to visit Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg

4 December 2014

Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit the German federal states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg on 19 and 20 March 2015.

The King and Queen will be accompanied on this working visit by the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, who will be heading a simultaneous two-day trade mission to Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. The purpose of the visit is to deepen trade and investment relations and promote cooperation, especially in the energy sector and the field of life sciences and health.

This working visit to northern Germany will immediately follow the King and Queen's state visit to Denmark, which begins on 17 March.

State Visit to Denmark

28 November 2014

At the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe and His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Denmark, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima will pay a state visit to Denmark from Tuesday 17 to Thursday 19 March 2015.

They will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders. At the same time a trade delegation will travel to Denmark, hosted by the Minister Lilianne Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Coorporation.