State visit by the King and Queen of Spain - programme

At the invitation of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain will pay a state visit to the Netherlands on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 April. King Felipe will be accompanied by his wife, Her Majesty Queen Letizia.

The Netherlands and Spain have a shared history and are bound by common values and interests. The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations since 1648, and historical links stretch back even further. The centuries-old ties connecting the Netherlands and Spain are political, economic, cultural and social in nature. Political cooperation with Spain has intensified over the past few years. The two countries work together closely in areas including open strategic autonomy and organised crime. Economic ties are also strong. Spain is the seventh largest market for Dutch exports, and the Netherlands imports a large proportion of its fruit and vegetables from Spain. There have also been sizeable investments in both directions in green hydrogen to safeguard the future availability and affordability of energy. Many Dutch people feel at home in Spain, sometimes choosing to settle there temporarily or permanently. Conversely, many Spanish people study and work in the Netherlands. There are regular exchanges in the field of art and culture, from the Old Masters to contemporary artists who connect their work to socially relevant themes such as equality and sustainability.

Wednesday 17 April


Welcome ceremony 

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will officially welcome the King and Queen of Spain in Dam Square in Amsterdam. After the delegations have been introduced, the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy will play both countries’ national anthems. This will be followed by an inspection of the guard of honour. At the Royal Palace in Amsterdam Dutch dignitaries will be introduced, after which a reception and private lunch will be held.

Wreath-laying ceremony 

King Felipe and Queen Letizia will lay a wreath at the National Monument in Dam Square.


Cruyff Foundation

In the afternoon King Willem-Alexander and King Felipe will attend a Cruyff Foundation sports day. Led by neighbourhood sports coaches, children will take part in football, basketball and kickboxing at a Cruyff Court. The Kings will speak with children and coaches, and watch a six-a-side football match between children with disabilities. The Cruyff Foundation is a Dutch-Spanish organisation whose mission is to give children with disabilities and children in disadvantaged neighbourhoods opportunities to play sports and games. Worldwide there are over 300 Cruyff Courts and more than 650 active Cruyff Foundation Coaches. 

Bilbao-Amsterdam green hydrogen corridor

King Willem-Alexander and King Felipe will visit the Port of Amsterdam and the EVOS and Sunoco terminals. They will speak with representatives of Dutch and Spanish companies about the development of a maritime hydrogen corridor between the ports of Bilbao and Amsterdam. The discussion will focus on the partnership between the two ports, which was established in part through the joint efforts of the Dutch and Spanish governments. In June 2023 King Willem-Alexander visited Spain in connection with various ongoing hydrogen projects. 


State banquet

In the evening King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will host a state banquet at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. The Kings will both give a speech. The state banquet will also be attended by Their Royal Highnesses Catharina-Amalia, the Princess of Orange, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and Princess Margriet of the Netherlands.

Thursday 18 April


Business Forum

On Thursday morning King Willem-Alexander and King Felipe will attend an event in The Hague for Spanish and Dutch businesses in the cybersecurity and fintech sectors. The event will focus on the economy, innovation and technology, and is intended to promote knowledge exchange and strengthen economic and businesses ties between the two countries. King Felipe will give a speech at the event. 

Visit to the States General

At the States General in The Hague, King Felipe will meet with President of the Senate Jan Anthonie Bruijn and President of the House of Representatives Martin Bosma.

Mental health and young people

Queen Máxima and Queen Letizia will start the day at LAB6, a centre in Amsterdam Nieuw-West where cultural, sporting and other activities are organised by and for young people aged 12 to 23. They will speak with young people and youth workers from Ara Cora, El Mazouni Coaching, @ease and similar organisations about the importance of easily accessible walk-in centres for young people’s mental health. Walk-in centres give young people a place where they feel welcome and where support is available for anyone who is struggling. Queen Máxima and Queen Letizia will be given a tour of LAB6 to see the activities offered to young people. Queen Máxima is the honorary chair of Stichting MIND Us, an organisation that promotes mental health among young people.

Amsterdam Spanish Film Festival 

Queen Máxima and Queen Letizia will attend the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Amsterdam Spanish Film Festival at the Royal Theatre Tuschinski cinema. The film festival aims to strengthen mutual cultural awareness by presenting Spanish and Latin American cinema in the Netherlands. This year’s edition is taking place from 12 to 21 April in Amsterdam, Amstelveen and Haarlem. 


Government lunch

Deputy Prime Minister Rob Jetten will receive King Felipe at the Binnenhof and host a government lunch attended by King Willem-Alexander. Topics that will be discussed during this lunch include Spanish-Dutch bilateral relations and European cooperation on energy and climate policy. Deputy Prime Minister Jetten and King Felipe will both give a speech. 

Clingendael Institute and Elcano Royal Institute

In recent years the Clingendael Institute and the Elcano Royal Institute have collaborated to develop policy ideas from a Dutch and Spanish perspective on a future-oriented agenda for the European Union. The focus has been on economic and social resilience, innovation and openness. King Willem-Alexander and King Felipe will attend a dialogue with experts from the Clingendael and Elcano institutes.

European Space Research and Technology Centre

King Willem-Alexander and King Felipe will visit the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk. ESTEC is the technical heart of the European Space Agency (ESA), of which the Netherlands and Spain are founding members. Globally, the importance of aerospace as a strategic technology in the areas of climate change, the living environment and secure communications is growing. The Kings will be given a guided tour of the ESTEC Test Centre and will speak with staff about the various ESA missions on which the Netherlands and Spain collaborate, including Ariane 6, the European satellite navigation system Galileo, and the monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions from space. 


Return hospitality

King Felipe and Queen Letizia will host a return hospitality reception for King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima at STRAAT, Amsterdam’s museum for street art and graffiti. The Princess of Orange will also attend the reception. During the reception, the two royal couples will open an exhibition of works by ten Spanish and Dutch muralists. The exhibition is open to the public until June 2. After the reception King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will take leave of the King and Queen of Spain. 

Government Information Service, no. 95