Short speech by His Majesty the King on the occasion of the reception by the Lord Mayor of Dublin at the Mansion House

Lord Mayor,

Thank you for offering us your hospitality here at the Mansion House, so soon after your election. And many congratulations from us both!

My wife and I are greatly enjoying our visit to your beautiful city.

Dublin is showing us its past, present and future.

From the cultural treasures of Trinity College – some over a thousand years old – to the enterprising spirit of the Dogpatch Labs, where designers and start-ups are creating the world of tomorrow. We even got a lesson in programming from a group of young whizz kids!

Your city attracts people from all corners of the globe, and that certainly includes the Netherlands.

If you search online for ‘Dublin’ in combination with ‘Dutch’, the first hit you’ll get is ‘Dutch-speaking jobs in Dublin’.

There are all kinds of job opportunities here for Dutch-speaking sales hunters, marketing specialists, content reviewers and even game testers!

A clear sign of the growing links between our countries.

We can see the closeness of our relationship in all kinds of areas, and one of them is mobility.

Here in Dublin, you are preparing to host Velo-City, the world’s biggest cycling conference, which will take place in two weeks’ time.

I know what a fantastic event it is, as I attended it myself two years ago, when it was held in Arnhem and Nijmegen.

In the Netherlands we are now building a network of ‘superhighways’ just for cyclists. Dutch people cycle a total of

15 billion kilometres a year. In fact, we have more bikes than people: one-and-a-half for every person in the country.

It’s great to see that this sustainable form of transport is on the rise in Dublin too.

But, where do you park all those bikes when you’re not using them?

Well, to help you out, we thought we’d bring you a little present from the Netherlands.             

It may not be the gold chain of office that King Willem III presented to the city more than three centuries ago. But we hope nonetheless that it will give you many years of service…

Thank you again for your warm reception, and I wish you every success later this month, when bike fever hits Dublin!