Brief word of thanks by His Majesty the King at the breakfast hosted by the Lord Mayor, Mansion House, London

Your Royal Highnesses, Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress, ladies and gentlemen,

I’d like to start by thanking you, Lord Mayor, for your hospitality at this – for some at least – early hour. Traditionally, you receive guests in the evening, but the busy schedule of this State Visit has made that impossible. So we’re all the more grateful for the opportunity you’re giving us to meet you and your wife in this select company.

Whatever the time of day, the City of London is always wide awake. And you are all living proof of that!

We feel very much at home here in Mansion House. That’s partly thanks to the many Dutch masters which decorate the walls. You have shown us some of them. They are a reminder of how the language of the fine arts connects us. ‘Sketch’, ‘easel’, ‘landscape’ – these are all words of Dutch origin. The English language has greatly influenced Dutch, of course, but we are proud that our language, too, has left its mark on yours!

The same applies to the language of seafaring. Words like ‘deck’, ‘keel’, ‘yacht’, ‘sloop’ and ‘skipper’ all come from Dutch. A sign of our close ties as maritime neighbours.

There is a great affinity between the City of London and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. We are impressed by your innovative drive and your position at the heart of the global financial and economic system.

Openness and a spirit of enterprise have connected us for many centuries now.

In the past, Dutch investors helped finance the Bank of England. And Dutch scientists were among the earliest Fellows of the Royal Society.

Very shortly, we will see elsewhere in Mansion House how Anglo-Dutch cooperation is being shaped in today’s world. For example in technology and digital data analysis.

We have so much to offer each other! So let us continue to seek one another out, and let us continue to join forces as North Sea neighbours!  Thank you.