26 April 2013

Flashback: Official Visits to the Netherlands, 1988 and 2007

The Queen has visited the Netherlands a few times during her reign, including an in-depth state visit during Queen Juliana's reign. During Queen Beatrix's tenure (1980-2013), she's paid two official visits, both celebrating the ties between the British and the Dutch.

The Queen arrived in Holland in July 1988 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Glorious Revolution that brought William of Orange to the British throne as William III, who reigned alongside his wife, Mary II. The visit was held under tight security following IRA attacks in the Netherlands. Additionally, protests were anticipated from Dutch gay rights groups following the passage of discriminatory legislation in Britain. But everything went ahead without major difficulty, and the Dutch royal family welcomed the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh with open arms. Her arrival outfit included her standard Pearl Trefoil Brooch, hard as it is to see it on this sort of Pollock-does-bumblebees outfit.

More day events included a visit to Osterbeek War Cemetery (above, left), and an appearance with another firm brooch standard: the Frosted Sunflower (above, center and right).

The evening entertainment didn't include a tiara event, but there were diamonds nevertheless (and aquamarines, for Queen Beatrix). The Queen wore her King Faisal Diamond Necklace and Antique Girandole Earrings, in addition to a diamond bracelet and I assume a diamond evening watch.

The second visit was a quick one: a single day in February 2007. (Actually, this one is included on the list of outbound state visits on the British Monarchy's site, though it didn't include many of the trappings you'd usually associate with a state visit.) The speedy trip was in order to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the English Church in Amsterdam, and also included a swing by the International Court of Justice in The Hague and a private lunch with Dutch royal family. The Queen wore one of her standby outfits and one of her standby brooches, the Flower Basket Brooch.

And that ends our look at the visits between these two queens. But they've obviously met many times, under many circumstances, and are said to be good friends - Beatrix apparently pays private visits to see Elizabeth from time to time. The Queens Regnant Club is so very exclusive, it must be nice to kick back and chat with someone that gets it. I'm sad to see her go...but I can't deny, I would love to see the new King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima hit the U.K. on a state visit!

Photos:ANP/gahetNA/Getty Images/Bauer Griffin/Corbis