The King and Queen visit the Netherlands – day 1

The King and Queen with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima on arrival in Amsterdam. Photo: Patrick van Katwijk/Stella Pictures

On Friday 4 April, The King and Queen began a two-day visit to the Netherlands, at the invitation of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. The visit marked the 400th anniversary of diplomatic links between Sweden and the Netherlands. Minister for Trade Ewa Björling also took part in the visit.

The King and Queen arrived in Amsterdam early in the afternoon, and were welcomed to the Royal Palace of Amsterdam by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima.

The Royal Palace of Amsterdam was originally built as a city hall in 1648-65, and was designed by architect Jacob van Campen.

During the afternoon, The King and King Willem-Alexander took part in the Innovations seminar at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. The King presented the Swedish Export Prize to SKF at the seminar.

The Queen and Queen Máxima visited De Hogeweyk in Weesp, a residential area that has been specially designed for people with dementia. During the tour, representatives of the Dutch Alzheimer Society explained how care leads to a more dignified life.

The Queen and Queen Máxima visited a residential area for people with dementia. Photo: Frank van Beek/AP Photo

The Queen and Queen Máxima visited a residential area for people with dementia. Photo: Frank van Beek/AP Photo

The afternoon ended with a boat tour on the River Ij with an architectural theme, showing how the city's typical old buildings along the canals are combined with modern architecture.

The evening ended with a banquet at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam.

Before the banquet began, King Willem-Alexander and The King gave the starting signal for a projection on the palace façade of Rembrandt's painting The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis. The painting was produced in 1661-62 and depicts the moment when the Batavians pledged an oath of allegiance against Rome, to the rebel leader Gaius Julius Civilis. The work was painted by Rembrandt as a commission for the new town hall in Amsterdam. It is owned by the Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, and has been held at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm since 1866.

During the banquet, The King gave a speech in which he mentioned the close historic links between two countries and the two royal families.

You can read The King's speech in full hereopens in new window.

Sweden's links with the Netherlands

A treaty of friendship was signed on 5 April 1614, resulting in the opening of the Swedish Embassy in The Hague. This was Sweden's first permanent diplomatic embassy.