Monday, 31 October 2016

Dutch State Visit to Australia, Day One

The King and Queen of the Netherlands at the start of their State Visit to Australia
(photo WA Museum Twitter)

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands have begun a five day State Visit to Australia with a sunny day in Perth. The focus of this trip is consolidating the long standing ties between the two countries and the royal couple began by looking back at the way that those links have been built over past centuries.

The very start of their visit was all about their hosts. Willem-Alexander and Maxima were given a traditional Aboriginal Smoking Welcome as they began this trip.

The King and Queen of the Netherlands then visited the Welcome Walls where the names of Dutch immigrants to Australia are written as a reminder of those who came to the country centuries before to make new lives.

There were more reminders of how long the links between Australia and the Netherlands go back as they visited the West Australian Maritime Museum to unveil a gift on loan from the Rijksmuseum - a tin plaque left by Dutchman, Dirk Hartog, when he arrived in the country.

Willem-Alexander and Maxima toured the Shipwreck Galleries which include parts of the Batavia, which was famously wrecked off the coast of Western Australia on its maiden voyage in 1628. They were also given an overview of the new building belonging to the museum and designed by Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas.

The day ended with a chance for the King and Queen of the Netherlands to meet members of the Dutch community in Perth. This State Visit will include two more organised meetings with people from their country who have made their homes in Australia. Just another way for Willem-Alexander and Maxima to explore the links that have tied the two nations for centuries and continue to do so today.

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