Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Maxima's touch of summer

The King and Queen of the Netherlands welcome the President of Greece and his wife on July 4th
(photo koninklijkhuis.nl)

It was a sunny, summer filled visit and not just because of the warm skies above Amsterdam. As the President of Greece and his wife arrived for a whistlestop tour of the Netherlands on July 4th, there was a warm welcome, lots of smiling and a royal dress that appeared to feature a beach. Welcome to royal summer 2016.

This visit was all about strengthening ties between the Netherlands and Greece. President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and his wife, Vlasia Pavlopoulou, arrived on July 4th and were given a ceremonial welcome.  King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima welcomed them to the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague with plenty of pomp. The royal couple and their guests seemed to be getting on famously and they posed for photographers before an audience and then a lunch.

King Willem-Alexander's speech at the lunch didn't shy away from big issues. He made mention of the economic problems that have affected Greece in recent years and talked as well about the arrival of migrants across the country in recent months and he praised the way that many in the country have welcomed those arriving there for the first time. He also made reference to Aristotle, telling his guests that guidance can be found in the words of the famous philosopher, urging a focus on rational thought, empathy and courage.

In the afternoon, the Greek President and his wife visited politicians and there was an evening reception attended by the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, Day two of the visit, July 5th, included visits for them to the Department of Modern Greek at the University of Amsterdam as well as visits promoting the economy and entrepreneurship. While the King and Queen of the Netherlands didn't accompany them on that part of the visit, Willem-Alexander said in his speech that those engagements focused on areas where co-operation could be further developed.

As if his words of welcome weren't warm enough, the Queen of the Netherlands added a splash of sunshine to proceedings by wearing a dress with a picture of a desert island on it. Yes, an actual desert island complete with palm trees, sand and sea. Only Maxima.

She added a huge lipstick pink hat and a bags of confidence and looked pretty sensational. It might not be to everyone's tastes but Maxima rocked this look and she can be almost 100% certain that no other royal lady will ever end up in the same frock. And it added yet another spark of sunshine to a short but sweet visit.

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