State visit to Denmark - program

Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will pay a state visit to Denmark from 17 to 19 March 2015 at the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe and His Royal Highness The Prince Consort.

The King and Queen will be accompanied on their visit by foreign minister Bert Koenders. The state visit, which coincides with an economic mission by representatives of the sustainable energy, wind power and medical technology sectors, will strengthen the already excellent relations between Denmark and the Netherlands. It will also offer an opportunity for reinforcing existing economic and social cooperation with Denmark. The sharing of knowledge and experiences will play a central role.

Tuesday 17 March

After the welcome ceremony at Copenhagen Airport the King and Queen will meet Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik at Fredensborg Palace. The Danish prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, will host a lunch for the King and Queen at Christiansborg Palace.

Their Majesties will attend selected sessions at the conference 'A social coherent society: prospects for societal development in Denmark and the Netherlands', which will be taking place at the Copenhagen campus of Aalborg University. Both countries have top rankings on the World Happiness Index, Denmark leading the list and the Netherlands coming in fourth. Danish and Dutch scholars, publicists and students will compare and contrast developments in their respective societies. Themes to be addressed include welfare and families, happiness, security and trust, solidarity and immigration. The King and Queen will participate in roundtable discussions with speakers and other attendees.

Their Majesties will host a reception for the Dutch community in Denmark before attending a state banquet in their honour at Christiansborg Palace. This will conclude the first day of the state visit.

Wednesday 18 March

The King and Queen will visit the island of Samsø, accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. On board the Samsø ferry, they will discuss sustainable energy policy with representatives of the Dutch and Danish government and private sectors.

Samsø is carbon-neutral, thanks to wind power and other sustainable energy sources. The island's inhabitants paid and own 11 onshore and 10 offshore wind turbines, which provide power to the entire island. Any power that is not used is exported to the mainland. Samsø also has solar collectors and a district heating plant that burns straw to supply warm water to the surrounding villages. Home care workers and mail carriers do their rounds in electric cars.

After an official welcome by the mayor of Samsø the royal party will visit an 'efterskole', a special type of boarding school, in Besser. It is customary for Danish teenagers to spend a year at an efterskole where they can explore options for further education and future careers. An efterskole offers all the usual school subjects, but also enables pupils to pursue specific interests, such as music, theatre, sports or nature. The efterskole in Besser focuses on aquatic sports, diving, aviation and golf. Pupils will give the royal party a tour of the school.

After visiting the school, the King and Queen and their hosts will visit the district heating plant which uses locally produced straw to heat water for 300 households in the village nearby.

The last part of the Samsø programme will be a visit to the Energy Academy. Here, the island's energy consumption is studied in detail, with a view to achieving maximum sustainability and the lowest possible consumption. The royal party will attend a discussion about the island's energy cooperative with island residents and representatives of Dutch and Danish companies. After a lunch, with local products, the royal party will return to the mainland.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will then visit Bispebjerg Hospital. The hospital is undergoing a major expansion and, when completed, will be one of five mega-hospitals in Denmark. The new complex will be characterised by efficiency and the highest level of service. The King and Queen will attend a presentation about the mega-hospital's organisation and design, and visit the stands of Dutch and Danish companies that hope to contribute to the project.

In the evening the royal couple will, by way of a reciprocal gesture, host a modern dance performance by the International Choreographic Arts Centre for contemporary dance (ICKamsterdam). As well as making their own dance productions, ICKamsterdam provides artistic and commercialsupport to talented young performers. They also share their expertise in research and educational projects.

Thursday 19 March

The state visit will end with an official leave-taking of Queen Margrethe and Prince Consort on Thursday morning.