State visit to Luxembourg - program

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima are to pay a state visit to Luxembourg from 23 to 25 May 2018 at the invitation of Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duke and Duchess of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (see Government Information Service press release no. 74). The King and Queen will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok. A parallel economic programme with a focus on working towards a sustainable and circular economy will be led by State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management Stientje van Veldhoven.

The historic friendship between the Netherlands and Luxembourg dates back many centuries, cemented today by close political and economic cooperation within the Benelux, the European Union, NATO and the United Nations. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Benelux Economic Union, which extended and consolidated the partnership between the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium. The Benelux has been a testing ground for European integration ever since.

Wednesday 23 May

The state visit will begin on Wednesday 23 May in the city of Luxembourg, where the Grand Duke and Duchess will receive the King and Queen at a welcome ceremony at the Grand Ducal Palace. The King and Queen will subsequently lay a wreath at Luxembourg’s national war memorial, the ‘Monument de la Solidarité Nationale’. In the afternoon they will meet with the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mars Di Bartolomeo, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn. The King and Queen will then be received at City Hall by the city’s mayor, Lydie Polfer.

This will be followed by a short walk through the town, with information about its historic development, the lower city known as ‘Grund’ and the fortifications, which resemble those in Maastricht. Luxembourg’s ‘Old Quarters’ have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first day of the visit will conclude with a state banquet at the Grand Ducal Palace hosted by the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess. The Grand Duke and the King will both give a short speech.

Thursday 24 May

The second day of the state visit will start with a visit to Belval where blast furnaces were built in 1911. For many decades the steel industry was a pillar of Luxembourg’s economy.

In 1997 the furnaces were shut down. A large-scale urban development project, designed by Dutch architect Jo Coenen, has preserved and repurposed the former industrial zone. Belval has been transformed from an industrial area to a modern urban district where science, homes, work and culture come together. On the campus the King and Queen will learn more about the site’s industrial heritage. One of the building projects is the ‘Cité des Sciences’ (City of Science), which houses the University of Luxembourg. At the Luxembourg Learning Centre, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will hear about a new way of learning developed there.

After this, a meeting will take place in the ‘Maison du Savoir’ on the university campus, about government initiatives on asteroid mining, a field in which Luxembourg is a frontrunner. The King and Queen will speak with Dutch and Luxembourg students and lecturers and attend several presentations.

From Belval, the King and Queen will travel on to Vianden Castle, where they will open a specially curated exhibition with objects from the Royal Collections of the Netherlands and the Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg celebrating key moments in the countries’ shared history. One of the objects on display is the ‘Primo Divisio’ deed which dates from 1255.

The prime minister of Luxembourg will host a government lunch at Vianden Castle. In the afternoon King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will attend a gathering on sustainable and circular economy at the Chamber of Commerce. This event is part of the economic programme in which 24 Dutch businesses are participating. The King and Queen will speak with Dutch and Luxembourg entrepreneurs presenting new developments with regard to a circular economy.

In the evening the King and Queen will host a concert and reception to thank the grand ducal family and other Luxembourg invitees for their hospitality during the state visit. The concert will be performed by Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma at the Philharmonie concert hall.

Friday 25 May

On the third and final day of the state visit, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit the companies Neobuild and CFL Multimodal in Bettembourg. Neobuild seeks to find and facilitate innovative approaches to sustainability and circularity in the construction industry. They enable businesses to carry out long-term tests and demonstrations of new building techniques, materials and products. CFL Multimodal is a transport provider and logistics operator which, thanks to Luxembourg’s favourable geographic location, serves as a European logistics hub for container transhipment. The King and Queen will be shown innovative techniques for safe and efficient rail-to-road transhipment.

The final event in the programme will be a reception for the Dutch community at the Dutch ambassador’s official residence. The King and Queen will meet Dutch nationals living or working in Luxembourg. The state visit will end at midday with a farewell ceremony at the Grand Ducal Palace.