News archive

King and Queen of Spain to visit the Netherlands

7 October 2014

On Wednesday 15 October 2014, Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will receive Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain as part of a one-day visit. The Spanish royal couple will be accompanied by José Manuel Soria, Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will hold an audience with King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia at Noordeinde Palace. Following lunch, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia will visit the Dutch parliament, where they will meet with the President of the Senate, Ankie Broekers-Knol, and the President of the House of Representatives, Anouchka van Miltenburg.

The visit will conclude with the royal couple meeting Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Ministry of General Affairs.

State visit to Republic of Korea

At the invitation of President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima will pay a state visit to the Republic of Korea on Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 November 2014.

They will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans.

At the same time a trade delegation will travel to the Republic of Korea, hosted by the Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp.

State Visit to Japan

At the invitation of the Government of Japan, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima will pay a state visit to Japan from Wednesday 29 to Friday 31 October 2014.

They will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans.

At the same time a trade delegation will travel to Japan, hosted by the Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp.

King to attend commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Operation Market Garden in Driel, 14 August 2014

Government Information Service (RVD), no. 229

On Saturday 20 September, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander will attend a ceremony in Driel commemorating the 70th anniversary of the contribution of the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade to the Battle of Arnhem. President Bronisław Komorowski of Poland and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will also be present and will deliver speeches during the service.

During the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944, around 1,500 Polish service personnel, members of the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade, were dropped in the vicinity of Driel, from where they were to support British units, particularly those in Oosterbeek. The Polish units made a major contribution to the eventual withdrawal of the British parachutists.

During those September days of 1944, a bond of friendship developed between the residents of Driel and the members of the Polish brigade. In September 1945 the townspeople adopted the graves of all the fallen Polish soldiers. Since 1946 memorial services have been held in Driel to honour the Poles. Every year the service is attended by a group of Polish veterans. This year, 12 Polish veterans, now living in Poland, the UK, the US, Canada and the Netherlands, will attend the service.

The Driel-Poland Foundation will organise the commemoration in Driel. Since 1994 all memorial services related to the Battle of Arnhem have been coordinated by the Airborne Commemoration Foundation.

 

King and Queen to attend celebration of 200 years of the Kingdom in Maastricht (2), 8 August 2014

Government Information Service (RVD), no. 226

On Saturday 30 August, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima will be attending the celebrations in Maastricht to mark the bicentenary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (see RVD press release no. 185 of 12 June 2014). They will be joined by Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Their Royal Highnesses Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg and Federal President Joachim Gauck of Germany and his partner Daniela Schadt.

Under the slogan Hello World!, this national event to mark 200 years of the Kingdom - the fourth of its kind - will emphasise the Netherlands' international outlook.

The National Committee for the Bicentenary of the Kingdom is organising this event together with the municipality of Maastricht and the province of Limburg. Celebratory events have already been held in Scheveningen, The Hague and St Maarten. In April 2015 there will be a fifth event, in Zwolle, with the celebrations concluding in Amsterdam in September 2015.

King and Queen to attend celebration of 200 years of the Kingdom in Maastricht (2), 8 August 2014

Government Information Service (RVD), no. 226

On Saturday 30 August, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima will be attending the celebrations in Maastricht to mark the bicentenary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (see RVD press release no. 185 of 12 June 2014). They will be joined by Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Their Royal Highnesses Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg and Federal President Joachim Gauck of Germany and his partner Daniela Schadt.

Under the slogan Hello World!, this national event to mark 200 years of the Kingdom - the fourth of its kind - will emphasise the Netherlands' international outlook.

The National Committee for the Bicentenary of the Kingdom is organising this event together with the municipality of Maastricht and the province of Limburg. Celebratory events have already been held in Scheveningen, The Hague and St Maarten. In April 2015 there will be a fifth event, in Zwolle, with the celebrations concluding in Amsterdam in September 2015.

 

21 July 204

Brief statement by His Majesty the King after the gathering of next of kin of the air disaster victims on Monday, 21 July 2014, Nieuwegein

Today a large gathering took place of families of the victims of the air disaster in eastern Ukraine. My wife and I were among those present. We were deeply touched by the moving, personal accounts of those who have lost loved ones. People whose lives are in ruins. Their sorrow, their feeling of powerlessness and their despair are heartrending. Many people said to us, 'We at least want to take dignified leave of our loved ones'.

We understand their frustration and their pain. And we share their heartfelt wish for clarity on the cause of this disaster.

We know that their loss can never be made good. Their grief is immense. The only thing we could do today was to be with them, and listen to what they had to say.

In the last few days, people have gathered together all over the Netherlands, and they will go on doing so. In offices, schools, sports clubs and living rooms across the country. People are there for one another.

And that is especially important now, at a time of great trial for our country, when so many people are overwhelmed by grief. It is important that we hold onto one another, that we support each other and do what we can to help. And that we open our hearts to anyone who wants to share their story. Not only now, but also in the months and years to come.

I would like to express my appreciation for all the people who are rallying around those affected by the disaster. Relatives, friends, neighbours and colleagues: you are all very much needed now.

I would also like to say how much I value the work being done by the hundreds of professionals involved in carrying out the many sad and difficult tasks that need to be done.

My wife and I sympathise deeply with all those who have been bereaved. We are with them in our thoughts. These sentiments are shared by my mother and by the other members of my family, who feel a particularly close bond with our country in these dark days.

This terrible disaster has inflicted a great wound on our society. The scar it leaves will never truly heal.

When the need is greatest, what counts is inner strength, compassion and solidarity - the very qualities that, at crucial times, our country has shown it possesses.

17 July 2014

Statement by His Majesty the King in response to the Ukraine air disaster

I am deeply saddened by the terrible news of the air disaster involving flight MH17 above Ukrainian territory.

Like the rest of the Netherlands, my wife and I are following the news closely and hope to receive more clarity soon.

We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the families, friends, colleagues and acquaintances of the victims and those who are still uncertain whether their loved ones were on board the aircraft.

17 July 2014

Photo session with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima cancelled

Following the dramatic reports of the air disaster involving Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from  Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur above Ukrainian territory, the scheduled photo session with Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima and their daughters Princesses Catharina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane will not take place on Friday 18 July.

 

Queen Máxima visits India to promote access to financial services

From Monday 30 June to Wednesday 2 July, Her Majesty Queen Máxima will pay a visit to India in her role as the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. She will be in New Delhi from Monday 30 June until the morning of 1 July. In the afternoon she will travel to Mumbai, concluding her visit on Wednesday 2 July. India is a key country for inclusive financing.

Queen Máxima was invited to India by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Dr Raghuram Rajan. This central bank has been working for many years to give more people access to a bank or savings account and to encourage them to take out insurance and loans.  Opening a bank account in India is subject to strict requirements. The RBI is urging commercial banks to relax the rules. India has extensive experience in improving access to financial services. Its IT and communications infrastructure is well organised and government, banks and non-profit organisations work together closely.  

Despite these efforts, some 500 million of the 1.2 billion people living in India do not use the formal financial system, especially those living in poverty or in remote areas. Small and medium-sized enterprises, too, often lack access to financial services. This hampers economic growth for individuals, businesses and the country as a whole. The Indian government is committed to providing these groups with access to financial services.

In Delhi, Queen Máxima will speak with finance minister Arun Jaitley and representatives of financial organisations. In Mumbai she will attend a meeting with the directors of the banks' association and the World Bank Group. On Wednesday 2 July she will give a speech at the Reserve Bank of India, meet with Governor Rajan and take part in discussions with central bank partners. 

State visit to Poland

At the invitation of President Bronislaw Komorowski of the Republic of Poland, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima will pay a State visit to Poland on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 June 2014. They will be accompanied by foreign minister Frans Timmermans. Coinciding with the State visit, Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, will head an economic mission comprising representatives of the Dutch energy, agrifood, logistics and transport, and water management sectors.

The State visit marks Dutch-Polish ties. The two countries share a long history - including trade in the Golden Age and Poland's role in liberating the Netherlands in 1944 and 1945 - and currently maintain strong bilateral relations to promote an effective European Union. In addition, the Netherlands sent aid during Poland's Communist era and provided technical assistance prior to its accession to the EU. The Netherlands and Poland are active partners in the area of remembrance and education about World War II. In 2012 Dutch exports to Poland were valued at more than €8.5 billion, and imports at €5.5 billion.

Tuesday 24 June

After their arrival at Warsaw's military airbase on the morning of 24 June, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will be officially welcomed at the Presidential Palace by President Komorowski and his wife, Anna Komorowska. The welcome ceremony and the inspection of the guard will be followed by an audience at the Palace. The King and Queen will then lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The morning will conclude with a working lunch with government representatives, after which the King and Queen will visit the Sejm, the Polish parliament.

In the afternoon, Their Majesties will visit the Warsaw Rising Museum, dedicated to the Polish struggle and the destruction of Warsaw in World War II. The museum visit will begin with a presentation of the new memorial for the Sobibor death camp, which will be created shortly through a joint Polish-Israeli-Dutch-Slovak effort. More than 34,000 Dutch Jews were killed at Sobibor in World War II. The King and Queen will then meet with war veterans at the Maczek monument, which was erected in remembrance of the liberation of the south of the Netherlands by the Polish 1st Armoured Division. The Polish leg of the 'Liberation Route' will be launched at the monument. The 'Liberation Route' marks and connects all the locations in Europe that the Allies passed through during the continent's liberation in 1944-1945.

The first day will end with a State banquet in the Presidential Palace.

Wednesday 25 June

On Wednesday morning, King Willem-Alexander and President Komorowski will address a Dutch-Polish business seminar entitled 'Innovation, solutions for a common future'. The King and Queen will view the various company presentations and take part in a CEO roundtable on cooperation between Polish and Dutch companies.

After meeting with the Dutch community in Poland, the King and Queen will, by way of a reciprocal gesture, host a piano concert by Lucas and Arthur Jussen, followed by a network lunch.

Later in the afternoon, the State visit will resume in Poznań, where the King and Queen will visit the CLIP terminal. This terminal for the transhipment of containers from road to rail has a direct rail connection with the Port of Rotterdam. Completed two years ago, it is a successful example of an intermodal transport solution. The King and Queen will meet with representatives of the Dutch and Polish transport sectors and visit a trade fair for companies in the agrifood, horticulture and water sectors. A closing reception will bring the State visit to an end.

Queen Máxima in New York for UN meetings

Her Majesty Queen Máxima is visiting New York on 16 and 17 June in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. The Queen will attend the second meeting of the Group of Friends of Financial Inclusion (see photo caption of 4 February 2014) and give a short address. She also has various other internal UN engagements on these dates.

Official visit by Prince Albert and Princess Charlène

Government Information Service, no. 148

Please note that the visit by Princess Charlène is cancelled.  

His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco and Her Serene Highness Princess Charlène will pay an official visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday 3 June 2014.

In the afternoon, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, Her Majesty Queen Máxima, Prince Albert and Princess Charlène will attend the opening of the exhibition 'Grace Kelly, Princess and Style Icon' at Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn. The exhibition features outfits and accessories that belonged to the former American actress and Princess of Monaco, as well as photos and film clips about her life.

In the morning, Prince Albert will meet with Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and with the Presidents of the Senate and House of Representatives, Ankie Broekers-Knol and Anouchka van Miltenburg.

In the evening, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will host a dinner for Prince Albert and Princess Charlène at Het Loo Palace.

State visit by the President of China (2)

At the invitation of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, the President of the People's Republic of China, His Excellency Mr Xi Jinping, and his spouse, Peng Liyuan, will pay a State visit to the Netherlands on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 March.

President Xi's visit affirms the good bilateral relations between the People's Republic of China and the Netherlands. A great many government ministers and a large trade delegation will be travelling with the President. Immediately following his State visit, Mr Xi will attend the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

Saturday 22 March

The King and Queen will welcome the President and his spouse at Schiphol, after which there will be an official welcome ceremony. Later in the afternoon, the President will be received in audience at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. The first day of the State visit will conclude with a State banquet at the Royal Palace.

Sunday 23 March

On Sunday 23 March Prime Minister Mark Rutte will meet the President of China at the Catshuis, in order to discuss the good political, economic and cultural relationship between the Netherlands and China. After this meeting, President Xi will attend the Sino-Dutch Economic Forum in Noordwijk.

The Forum, which will be opened by the King, brings together over 200 leading Chinese companies and a similar number of Dutch businesses. After the King's opening words, there will be speeches by President Xi, Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng and Minister for International Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen.

After the Forum, the King, the Queen, President Xi and his spouse will depart for Kasteel Keukenhof, where they will view a presentation on technology in Dutch agricultural and food production chains and opportunities for bilateral cooperation with China in these areas. State Secretary of Economic Affairs Sharon Dijksma will provide a brief explanation of the presentation. After that, a special tulip will be named by mrs. Peng Following a private lunch at Kasteel Keukenhof, the King and Queen will take their leave of the President of China and his spouse.

Monday 24 March

On Monday morning, the President of China will be welcomed to the Dutch Senate by the President of the Senate, Ankie Broekers, and the President of the House of Representatives, Anouchka van Miltenburg.  

State visit by the President of China

RVD, no. 54: At the invitation of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, the President of the People's Republic of China, His Excellency Mr Xi Jinping, will pay a State visit to the Netherlands on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 March. The President will be accompanied by his spouse, Peng Liyuan.

President Xi's visit affirms the good bilateral relations between the People's Republic of China and the Netherlands. A great many government ministers and a large trade delegation will be travelling with the President. Immediately following his State visit, Mr Xi will attend the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

King to host dinner for heads of NSS delegations

RVD, no 50
On Monday 24 March 2014 His Majesty the King will host a dinner at Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague for the heads of the delegations to the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS).
The dinner will be attended by Her Majesty Queen Máxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans. The heads of delegation will each be accompanied by a member of their delegation.

The NSS will take place on 24 and 25 March 2014 at the World Forum in The Hague. The goal of the Summit is to prevent nuclear terrorism around the world. Four international organisations and 53 countries will participate, represented at the highest political level. The first NSS was held in Washington, in 2010. In 2012 the second NSS took place in Seoul. President Obama asked the Netherlands to organise the third summit. 

Independent study commissioned of Royal Collections

Government Information Service (RVD), no. 301. November 14 2013

The governing body of the House of Orange-Nassau Historic Collections Trust has decided to commission an independent study of the origin of museum pieces that became part of the Royal Collections after 1933.

If objects are found whose origins are deemed unlawful by the standards of the Committee on Museum Acquisitions, the board will act in accordance with the criteria established under the central government restitution policy.

The scope of the study will encompass all the individual collections that form the Royal Collections, plus museum pieces from the estate of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, in so far as they are still in the Royal Family's possession. An independent expert with specific experience in the field will conduct the study, assisted by a specially formed committee consisting of:

  • Professor R.E.O. Ekkart (former director of the Netherlands Institute for Art History and chair of the Supervisory Committee on Museum Acquisitions since 1933)
  • Professor J.P. Sigmond (former director of collections of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and a member of the governing body of the House of Orange-Nassau Historic Collections Trust, representing the Minister of Education, Culture and Science)
  • Ms J.C.E. Belinfante (former MP and former director of the Jewish Historical Museum).

On the basis of the findings of this independent study, the committee will draw up recommendations on further decision-making by the governing body of the House of Orange-Nassau Historic Collections Trust.

Funeral of Prince Friso, 13 August 2013

Announcement by the Netherlands Government Information Service (RVD) on behalf of the Royal Family

The funeral of His Royal Highness Prince Friso will take place on the afternoon of Friday 16 August in Lage Vuursche, in the municipality of Baarn. It will be a private ceremony.

After a service in the Stulpkerk in Lage Vuursche the Prince will be laid to rest in the adjacent cemetery.

The service will be officiated by Reverend C.A. ter Linden.

A memorial service for Prince Friso will be held later in the year.

Information for the media 

Pool material will be made available to the media. More details will follow later.

The Royal Family trusts that its privacy will be respected on this day.

Communique of the Government Information Service, Prince Friso, 12 August 2013

His Majesty the King announces with deep regret that His Royal Highness Prince Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David, Prins van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg passed away this morning at Palace Huis ten Bosch in the Hague at age 44.

Prince Friso has died of complications related to the hypoxic brain injury, which he suffered as the result of his skiing accident in Lech, Austria on 17 February 2012.

Following initial treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of the Innsbruck University Hospital, Prince Friso was transferred in early March 2012 to the Wellington hospital in London, his place of residence. In November 2012, Prince Friso begun showing signs of limited awareness ('minimal consciousness') and remained in that state since then. In early July 2013, he was transferred to Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague, the Netherlands. 

The Royal family wholeheartedly thanks all persons who have looked after Prince Friso for their excellent and devoted care.

Prince Friso leaves Wellington Hospital, 9 July 2013

On behalf of the Royal Family, the Government Information Service wishes to issue the following communiqué.

Prince Friso was discharged from the Wellington Hospital (London) today.

Prince Friso remains in a state of minimal consciousness. While his health situation continues to be of concern, the Prince no longer needs hospital care. Over the coming months, all available options to provide him with the required long-term care and nursing - in the Netherlands or the United Kingdom - will be evaluated in consultation with experts.

Prince Friso will spend this summer with his family at Palace Huis te Bosch in The Hague, where a medical team - led by Prof. Jan van Gijn and Dr. Michael Kuiper - will be entrusted with his care. He arrived there today. 

The Royal family wholeheartedly thanks the medical team of the Wellington hospital for their excellent and devoted care.

The Queen to host dinner in the Rijksmuseum on the eve of her abdication, 29 April 2013

On Monday 29 April, on the eve of her abdication and the investiture of King Willem-Alexander, Her Majesty the Queen will host a dinner in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

In addition to His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange and Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, the guests will include Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, Their Royal Highnesses Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Her Royal Highness Princess Irene, Her Royal Highness Princess Christina and Her Royal Highness Princess Mabel.

Among the other guests will be the members of the royal and special delegations (see news item RVD 28 April), the members of the Council of Ministers for the Kingdom, the Governors and Prime Ministers of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten, the Presidents of the States of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten, the Presidents of the House of Representatives and Senate of the States General, the Vice President of the Council of State, the Queen's Commissioner in North Holland, the Mayor of Amsterdam and the Director of the Queen's Office.

The dinner will take place in the Gallery of Honour at the Rijksmuseum, home to the museum's most celebrated works from the 17th century, including Johannes Vermeer'sThe Milkmaidand the married coupleMassaby Frans Hals. The most famous of all, theThe Night Watchby Rembrandt, hangs at the end of the Gallery of Honour in the Night Watch Gallery. The Rijksmuseum was reopened by the Queen, following extensive renovation, on Saturday 13 April 2013.

Royal Family, Royal Delegations and Special Delegations at the abdication and investiture, 28 April 2013

The following members of the Royal Family, Royal Delegations and Special Delegationswill be present at the ceremonies surrounding the abdication and investiture on 30 April.

Royal Family

  • The Queen / Princess Beatrix
  • The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima / the King and Queen
  • Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane
  • Princess Mabel
  • Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien
  • Princess Irene
  • Princess Margriet and Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven
  • Princess Christina
  • Prince Carlos and Princess Annemarie
  • Princess Margarita and Mr Tjalling ten Cate
  • Prince Jaime
  • Princess Carolina and Mr Albert Brenninkmeijer
  • Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène
  • Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette
  • Prince Pieter Christiaan and Princess Anita
  • Prince Floris and Princess Aimée
  • Mr Bernardo Guillermo
  • Mr Nicolás Guillermo
  • Ms Juliana Guillermo

Royal Delegations

  • Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium
  • Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa of Bahrain
  • Crown Prince Billah and Princess Sarah of Brunei
  • Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
  • Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako of Japan
  • Prince El Hassan bin Talal and Princess Sarvath El Hassan of Jordan
  • Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein
  • Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg
  • Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco
  • Prince Albert II of Monaco
  • Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princees Mette-Marit of Norway
  • Haitham bin Tareq al Said (Oman)
  • Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Misned (Qatar)
  • The Prince and Princess of Asturias (Spain)
  • Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn (Thailand)
  • Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (Thailand)
  • The Prince of  Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall (United Kingdom)
  • Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed al Nahyan (United Arab Emirates)
  • Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden

Special Delegations

  • Mr Amado Boudou, Vice-President of Argentina, and Senator Beatriz Rojkes de Alperovich, Provisional President of the Senate
  • Mr David Johnston, Governor-General of Canada, and Mrs Sharon Johnston
  • Professor Rita Süssmuth, former President of the Bundestag, and Professor Hans Süssmuth (Germany)
  • Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Mrs Zeynep Babacan of Turkey
  • Mr Suh Sang-Kee, Chairman of the Intelligence Committee of the National Assembly (Republic of Korea)
  • Mr José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Mrs Margarida Barroso
  • Mr Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
  • Mr Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and Mrs Geertrui Van Rompuy
  • Count Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, and Countess Anne Rogge-Bovyn
  • Mr Kofi A. Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Mrs Nane Annan
  • Mrs Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator

Outline of Abdication and Investiture Programme, 19 March 2013

Programme outline (subject to change):

29 April 2013

20.00-22.30
Dinner, at the invitation of Her Majesty the Queen, with members of the Royal Family and other royal and foreign missions at the Rijksmuseum.

30 April 2013

10.00-10.30
Abdication of Her Majesty the Queen in the Moseszaal of the Royal Palace Amsterdam. Those present will include the Presidents of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Council of Ministers for the Kingdom and members of the Royal Family, the governors and prime-ministers of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

The Queen will give a short address. The Director of the Queen's Office will then read aloud the instrument of abdication to which the Queen will then give her assent by means of her signature. Finally the instrument of abdication will be signed by the witnesses.

10.30-10.50
His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, Her Majesty Queen Máxima and Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands appear on the balcony of the Royal Palace Amsterdam. Princess Beatrix and the King will both give a short address, after which the Wilhelmus will be played. Her Royal Highness the Princess of Orange and Their Royal Highnesses Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane will then join their parents on the balcony.

13.30
Opening of the joint session of the States General, following the entry of the members of the States General, the States of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten, the Council of Ministers for the Kingdom and the Council of State.

13.50
Princess Beatrix and other members of the Royal Family proceed to the Nieuwe Kerk.

14.00
The King and the main cortege proceed to the Nieuwe Kerk.

14.00-15.30
Swearing in and investiture of the King at the joint session of the two Houses of the States General in the Nieuwe Kerk. The King will deliver an address and be sworn in. The President of the joint session, Fred de Graaf, will deliver an address and make a solemn declaration, after which members of the States General and the States of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten swear an oath or make an affirmation.

15.30
The King and his retinue proceed to the Royal Palace Amsterdam.

16.30-18.00
Reception for royal and foreign missions, dignitaries and members of the States General and the States of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten, Council of Ministers for the Kindom, the Council of State, governors and prime-ministers of Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten and the Corps Diplomatique in the Royal Palace Amsterdam.

19.30
The Song for the King will be performed in the presence of the King and Queen, prior to the water pageant. This will take place at the EYE Film Museum via a video link with Ahoy Rotterdam.

19.45-21.30
The King and Queen will take part in a water pageant with their daughters on the River IJ. They will sail from EYE Film Institute past the Oever Park and the 'Kop van Java'. At several places along the route they will be treated to a festive programme, including a 'mini Sail'.

21.30
Celebration, hosted by the Prime Minister on behalf of the Council of Ministers for the Kingdom.

NOS and RTL to interview future King and Queen

In the run-up to the abdication and investiture on 30 April 2013, the broadcasters NOS and RTL Nieuws will be speaking with the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima. The couple will be interviewed by the news anchors Mariëlle Tweebeeke of NOS/Nieuwsuur and Rick Nieman of RTL Nieuws. The interview will be broadcast on Wednesday 17 April at 20.30 on the television channels Nederland 1 and RTL 4.

King will have new military status

In view of his forthcoming assumption of the position of head of state, His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange is to relinquish his active military status. Before his investiture as King of the Netherlands, he will at his request be granted an honourable discharge.

Currently the Prince of Orange holds the rank of commodore (commandeur) in the Royal Netherlands Navy and corresponding  general officer ranks in the other armed services. However, as head of state and a member of the government, the King can no longer hold an active military position within the armed forces. The Prince explained the situation to Ministry of Defence staff in its weekly publicationDefensiekrant.

http://www.defensie.nl/actueel/

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima release itinerary for tour of provinces, 22 February 2013


After the royal succession on 30 April 2013 the King and Queen will tour all the provinces of the Netherlands in May and June, visiting two provinces a day. The Queen's Commissioners have been asked to submit suggestions for the programme. The royal couple will not just visit the provincial capitals, but a number of other locations as well. In mid-November they will tour the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.
 
The dates for the visits are as follows:

  • 28 May - Groningen / Drenthe                                  
  • 30 May - Gelderland / Utrecht                                    
  • 12 June - Limburg / North Brabant                             
  • 14 June - Friesland / North Holland                               
  • 19 June - Flevoland / Overijssel                                  
  • 21 June - Zeeland / South Holland

The King's standard and coat of arms, 18 February 2013

From his investiture onwards, His Majesty the King will fly the royal standard. His coat of arms will be identical to that used by Queen Beatrix. Contrary to the announcement in the press release of 29 January therefore, there will be no change in the design.

The royal coat of arms, which is the same as the coat of arms of the Kingdom, has only been altered once since the foundation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In 1907, at the instigation of Queen Wilhelmina, the number of crowns was reduced to one, surmounting the shield. At the same time, it became possible to add the royal mantle, also surmounted by a crown. The addition of other decorative elements to the coat of arms is optional.

After her abdication the Queen will adopt the coat of arms created for her (and for her sisters) in 1938 as Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau and Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld.

The royal standard will be flown above Noordeinde Palace in The Hague and at Eikenhorst in Wassenaar when the King is in the country. Queen Wilhelmina adopted this standard in 1908, and it was also flown, unchanged, by Queen Juliana and Queen Beatrix.

Outline of Abdication and Investiture Programme 30 April, 12 February 2013

Programme outline (subject to change):

30 April 2013

10.00-10.30

Abdication of Her Majesty the Queen in the Moseszaal of the Royal Palace Amsterdam. Those present will include the Presidents of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Council of Ministers for the Kingdom and members of the Royal Family. The Queen signs the instrument of abdication, which is read aloud by the Director of the Queen's Office.

10.30-10.50

His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Queen and Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands appear on the balcony of the Palace. Princess Beatrix and the King will both give a short address. Her Royal Highness the Princess of Orange and Their Royal Highnesses Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane will then join their parents on the balcony.

13.55

The King and his retinue proceed to the Nieuwe Kerk.

14.00-15.30

Swearing in and investiture of the King at a joint session of the two Houses of the States General in the Nieuwe Kerk. The King delivers an address and is sworn in. The President of the two Houses, Fred de Graaf, delivers an address and makes a solemn declaration, after which every member of the States General and the States of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten swears an oath or makes an affirmation.

16.13-17.30

Reception for dignitaries and members of the States General in the Royal Palace Amsterdam.

Composition of National Investiture Committee announced, 8 February 2013

The Prime Minister has announced the members of the National Investiture Committee, which is in charge of coordinating various festivities to mark the investiture on 30 April 2013.

The Committee will be chaired by Dr Hans Wijers. The other members are: 

  • Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam 
  • Mavis Albertina, TV producer and media consultant
  • Joop van den Ende, theatrical producer  
  • Andree van Es, member of Amsterdam municipal executive
  • Richard Krajicek, ABN Tennis Tournament director and founder of the Richard Krajicek Foundation 
  • Roland van der Vorst, brand consultant and publicist
  • Ben Woldring, internet entrepeneur

The Committee members will use their expertise to fulfil the royal couple's express wish for the entire population to be able to take part in the celebrations. All parts of the Kingdom will be involved. The Committee will also coordinate initiatives to honour Queen Beatrix and pay tribute to the new King and Queen. The actual organisation of the abdication and investiture are not among its responsibilities.

The Committee will announce details of the activities at a later date.

Book of thanks and congratulations opened, 5 February 2013 

Netherlands Government Information Service (RVD) press release no. 25

Following the announcement of the abdication of Her Majesty the Queen and the succession to the throne of His Royal Highness the Prince of Orangeon 30 April 2013, abook of thanks and congratulations was opened today at www.koninklijkhuis.nl.

When he succeeds his mother, the Prince of Orange will become King Willem-Alexander. Princess Máxima will become Queen Máxima.

Anyone wishing to thank the Queen or congratulate the Prince and Princess can leave a message in the book of thanks and congratulations. A selection of the messages will be published at www.koninklijkhuis.nl.

Queen's Office to be renamed, 30 January 2013

After the Queen's abdication, the 'Queen's Office' will be renamed 'King's Office'.

This change of name is in accordance with the Decree of 18 December 2003 containing provisions on the King's Office.

Prince of Orange resigns from official positions, 29 January 2013

In preparation for his accession to the throne, His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange is resigning from his official positions, with due regard for the terms of office and procedures of the organisations concerned. In the year ahead Her Majesty the Queen and the Prince of Orange will decide as to the continuation of their honorary posts and their patronage of organisations. Further announcements will be made on this subject in due course. In principle Princess Máxima will continue as Queen to hold her current honorary and other posts.

The Prince has asked the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to immediately relieve him of his duties as an IOC member in the Netherlands. Under the Olympic Charter, this means that the Prince's resignation must be approved at the IOC's next session in Buenos Aires in September 2013 and will take effect at the end of 2013.

His resignation as Chairman of the United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) will take place in consultation with the Secretary-General. He will also be resigning as Chairperson of the Water Advisory Committee, in consultation with the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment.

The King's standard and coat of arms, 29 January 2013

From his investiture onwards, His Majesty the King will fly the royal standard. The royal standard will be flown above the palaces where the monarch resides and works and at Eikenhorst in Wassenaar when he is in the country. Queen Wilhelmina adopted this standard in 1908, and it has also been flown by Queen Juliana and Queen Beatrix.

From the time of his investiture the King will also use the royal coat of arms. This coat of arms is identical to the one used by Queen Beatrix except that it features a helmet instead of a crown. The royal coat of arms is the same as the coat of arms of the Kingdom, with the addition of the royal mantle. Illustrations of the royal standard and the royal coat of arms can be seen on www.koninklijkhuis.nl.

Following her abdication, Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands will use the same coat of arms as before 1980, which is identical to that of her sisters.

The new head of state and his wife plan to visit the entire Kingdom, 29 January 2013

Within a year of ascending the throne, King Willem-Alexander, accompanied by Queen Máxima, will visit all the Dutch provinces and the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom.

State and official visits, 28 January 2013

Announcements will be made as soon as possible concerning planned State and official visits in the period before and after the abdication and investiture. The same applies to working visits and other scheduled events.

Presidency of the Council of State, 28 January 2013

On the abdication of Her Majesty the Queen the presidency of the Council of State will pass automatically to His Majesty the King, who is President of the Council under article 74 of the Dutch Constitution.
 
On reaching the age of majority the Prince of Orange was automatically granted a seat in the Advisory Division of the Council of State. Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands was granted a seat in the Advisory Division of the Council of State on 1 October 2004. Princess Catharina-Amalia will be granted her seat in the Advisory Division of the Council of State when she reaches the age of 18.
 
For more information on the Council of State please visit  www.raadvanstate.nl.

Changes in the Royal Household, 28 January 2013

When a new monarch ascends the throne, it is customary for certain Officers of the Royal Household to resign their posts, to enable the new monarch to exercise his constitutional right to organise his Household, taking due account of the public interest (article 41 of the Constitution).The Officers in question include the Grand Master of the Royal Household, the Chief of the Military Household, the Principal Secretary to the Queen, the Treasurer, the Master of Ceremonies, the Marshal of the Court, the Comptroller of the Royal Palaces, the Crown Equerry, the Director of the Royal Archives and the Director of Human Resources.

Information about abdication and investiture on Royal House website, 28 January 2013

In the coming months preparations will take place for the abdication of Her Majesty the Queen and the subsequent investiture of His Majesty the King. In the runup to these events, regular information updates will be provided on the Royal House website.

The King and Queen's family home, 28 January 2013

Following the inauguration, the family of His Majesty the King will initially continue to live at Eikenhorst in Wassenaar. At an appropriate moment the family will move to Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague.

In the intervening period Huis ten Bosch Palace will be used for official receptions and meetings. Noordeinde Palace will continue to be used as the monarch's place of work.

An announcement will be made in due course concerning when Her Majesty the Queen, then Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands,  will take up residence at Drakensteyn Castle in Lage Vuursche.

Time and place of abdication and investiture, 28 January 2013

The official programme for the abdication and investiture will take place on 30 April 2013. Her Majesty the Queen will sign the Instrument of Abdication at the Royal Palace, Amsterdam. The investiture of His Majesty the King will then take place at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. 

King's Day on 27 April from 2014 , 28 January 2013

From 2014 onwards, King's Day will be celebrated on 27 April, the birthday of the Prince of Orange and future King Willem-Alexander. In 2014 it will be celebrated by the Royal Family in Amstelveen and De Rijp. These municipalities will be able to use the programme that has already been developed for the planned celebration of Queen's Day on 30 April this year, which will assume a different character because of the abdication and investiture.

Prince of Orange to become King Willem-Alexander, 28 January 2013

When Queen Beatrix abdicates, His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange will become King Willem-Alexander, and Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands will become Queen Máxima. They will both be addressed as 'Your Majesty'. After abdicating, Queen Beatrix will be called Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, etc. As soon as the Prince of Orange ascends the throne, his eldest child, Her Royal Highness Princess Catharina-Amalia, will be the first in line to the throne. She will then become the Princess of Orange (under section 7 of the Membership of the Royal House Act).
 
The titles and names of the other members of the Royal Family will not change after Queen Beatrix's abdication. The membership of the Royal House and the line of succession will however change under the above Act.
 
After the abdication, the line of succession will begin with the children of His Majesty the King: Her Royal Highness the Princess of Orange, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexia, and Her Royal Highness Princess Ariane. The next in line will be His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn, his children and finally Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet.
 
After the abdication, the children of Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven will no longer be eligible for the throne. They will also cease to be members of the Royal House.

Extra cabinet meeting, 28 January 2013 

In the light of Her Majesty the Queen's announcement of her abdication, the cabinet will hold an extra meeting tomorrow morning at 10:30.

Prime Minister to give speech in response to Queen's address, 28 January 2013

Following the broadcast of the address by Her Majesty the Queen this evening, the Prime Minister will give a response from his office in The Hague. His speech, which will be recorded shortly beforehand, will be broadcast on radio and television. No further information will be released about his speech until after the broadcast.

Some time after the broadcast, it will also be possible to view the speech via the websites www.rijksoverheid.nl and www.youtube.com/DeMinPres. The text of the Prime Minister's speech will be posted on www.koninklijkhuis.nl after the broadcast.

Queen to deliver address from Huis ten Bosch Palace, 28 January 2013

An address by Her Majesty the Queen will be broadcast this evening at 19.00 on radio and television. No further information will be released about the address, which was recorded earlier today at Huis ten Bosch Palace, until after the broadcast. Some time after the broadcast, it will also be possible to view the address via the websites www.koninklijkhuis.nl and  www.youtube.com/koninklijkhuis. The text of the Queen's address will be posted on  www.koninklijkhuis.nl after the broadcast.

 

His Royal Highness Prince Friso, 19 November 2012

On behalf of the Royal Family, the Government Information Service wishes to issue the following communiqué.

Since the skiing accident of His Royal Highness Prince Friso, the Government Information Service has indicated that it would make announcements on medically significant changes in the health situation of the Prince.

Prince Friso has recently begun to show signs of limited awareness; a state commonly known as minimal consciousness. The prognosis continues to be very uncertain and the medical team remains gravely concerned. It will take many months to get more clarity.

The Royal Family, and Princess Mabel and the children in particular, are grateful for the restraint shown by the media since the Prince's accident. They request the media to continue respecting their privacy.

Princess Mabel would again like to thank the many people who have sent messages of sympathy. 'This is the most challenging period of my life. My love for Friso, the support of family and friends, and the many signs of compassion give me strength in these difficult times.'

Message of thanks from Her Majesty the Queen and Her Royal Highness Princess Mabel, 27 March 2012

Following Prince Friso's accident, we have received messages of sympathy and concern from all over the Netherlands and from beyond our borders.

We and our family are deeply touched that so many people hold Friso in their hearts and share in our anxieties. All the encouraging words, expressions of hope, moving messages, prayers and flowers are a great support to us and give us courage in a very difficult period, full of uncertainty. Your sympathy means a great deal to us.

Our family joins us in thanking most sincerely all who have, in any way, expressed their solidarity with us.

(Message of thanks, pdf)

His Royal Highness Prince Friso, 1 March 2012, 18.18

RVD, 1 March 2012: On behalf of the Royal Family, the Government Information Service wishes to issue the following communiqué. His Royal Highness Prince Friso was admitted to the Wellington Hospital in London today.

The hospital was chosen on the recommendation of experts, since it can provide the best possible care for the Prince in his current condition.

A return to London was also considered to be the most suitable option for the Prince's children, since it will provide them with the best prospect of continuity and stability. The Prince and his family have lived there for many years.

For the Royal Family, and Princess Mabel and the children in particular, a long, difficult period lies ahead, in which attempts will be made to start the rehabilitation process. Prince Friso's family now needs to have the space to come to terms with his condition, and organise their lives accordingly. They request the media to continue respecting their privacy. The Royal Family is extremely grateful to the media for their restraint in the aftermath of the Prince's accident.

Princess Mabel would again like to express her thanks for the messages of support and kindness she has received. 'The heartfelt sympathy shown to me has been a source of great strength. I am deeply grateful.'

Her Majesty the Queen and Princess Mabel and her children have since left Lech for London.  

His Royal Highness Prince Friso, 24 February 2012 - 14:29

RVD, 24 February 2012: On behalf of the Royal Family, the Government Information Service wishes to make the following announcement.

The members of His Royal Highness Prince Friso's family need to come to terms with the Prince's situation, and to reorganise their lives accordingly. The Royal Family therefore requests the media to give them the space to do so by respecting their privacy.

His Royal Highness Prince Friso, 24 February 2012 - 13.10

RVD, 24 February 2012: The head of the medical team attending His Royal Highness Prince Friso at Innsbruck university hospital has just issued a press statement giving further information on the Prince's condition and his outlook for the future. The statement was as follows (the written text may differ slightly from the spoken text):

Prince Friso was brought to Innsbruck university hospital by rescue helicopter at about 14:00 on 17 February, after being buried by an avalanche in Lech. He was covered for approximately 25 minutes. At the hospital, after receiving initial treatment in the reanimation unit, he was taken straight to the intensive care trauma unit. This unit specialises in treating the most seriously injured avalanche patients with the utmost medical and technical expertise. The unit's head is Dr Wolfgang Koller.

Our unit was notified of the patient's imminent arrival and we were able to prepare everything in advance. Prince Friso was brought to the hospital under reanimation conditions. Due to the length of time he was covered under the snow, his brain had been deprived of oxygen. The result was cardiac arrest, which lasted approximately 50 minutes. The patient had to be reanimated during this entire period. Fifty minutes is a very long time. One could say, too long. We hoped that the patient's mild hypothermic state had sufficiently protected the brain against excessive damage. Unfortunately, our hope was in vain. Since last Friday, a team of specialists has been fighting to save Prince Friso's life. Yesterday, a first MRI-scan was possible, without bringing the patient into danger. Since this examination and the latest neurological tests yesterday evening it is clear that the oxygen deprivation has caused extensive damage to the patient's brain. At present it is not certain whether he will ever regain consciousness. In any event, rehabilitation will take months, if not years. Prince Friso's family will now look for an appropriate rehabilitation facility.

His Royal Highness Prince Friso, 22 February 2012 - 15.08

RVD, 22 February 2012: His Royal Highness Prince Friso's condition remains unchanged. It is stable, but he is not out of danger. The doctors attending the Prince will issue a statement giving a prognosis as soon as they are able. That is not yet the case.

His Royal Highness Prince Friso, 19 February 2012 - 19:13

RVD, 19 February 2012: The members of the royal family are sincerely grateful and deeply touched by all the messages ofsupport and kindness they have received since Prince Friso's skiing accident. They are a great support to them at this difficult time.

His Royal Highness Prince Friso, 19 February 2012 - 14:34

RVD, 19 February 2012: His Royal Highness Prince Friso's condition remains unchanged. His condition is stable, but he is not out of danger.

It is possible that the doctors will not be able to give a full prognosis until the end of this week. 

His Royal Highness Prince Friso, 18 February 2012 - 14:44

RVD, 18 February 2012: His Royal Highness Prince Friso's condition remains unchanged.

The medical team attending the Prince have asked for the number of visitors to be restricted for the time being. 

His Royal Highness Prince Friso, 18 February 2012 - 10:05

RVD, 18 February 2012: The Government Information Service reports that the condition of His Royal Highness Prince Friso remains unchanged, according to the doctors who have been treating him since his accident.

He is still not out of danger, but he had a quiet and stable night. He is being treated by a team of specialists in the hospital's intensive care trauma unit.

His Royal Highness Prince Friso, 17 February 2012 - 17:06

RVD, 17 February 2012: The Government Information Service reports that, according to the doctors who have been treating His Royal Highness Prince Friso since his accident, it will not be possible to give a prognosis for several days.

He is currently in a stable condition, but not out of danger. Her Majesty the Queen and Her Royal Highness Princess Mabel are at the Prince's side.

Prince Friso admitted to Innsbrück hospital, 17 February 2012 - 15:48

RVD, 17 February 2012: On behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, the Government Information Service reports that His Royal Highness Prince Friso was the victim of an avalanche today at Lech ski resort in Austria.

The Prince has been admitted to the intensive care unit of Innsbrück hospital. The doctors treating him say that he is in a stable condition, but not out of danger.