State visit to Latvia - program
At the invitation of President Raimonds Vējonis, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima* will be paying a state visit to the Republic of Latvia on Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 June 2018. The royal couple will be accompanied by foreign minister Stef Blok.
The state visit to Latvia will be followed by a state visit to the Republic of Estonia (12 and 13 June) and to the Republic of Lithuania (13 and 15 June).
The programme will focus on the long-standing historical ties between the Netherlands and Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, which date back to the fourteenth century – with mutual trade peaking in the Golden Age – and on the close bilateral ties they enjoy today. The Netherlands’ relationship with all three countries today is characterised by strong partnerships in peace, security and prosperity, within the framework of the European Union and NATO in particular.
Parallel to the state visits, separate economic programmes will explore the potential for expanding economic partnerships. In Latvia the focus will be on transport and logistics (including smart mobility).
The visits are taking place in the year in which Latvia and Estonia celebrate 100 years of independence, and Lithuania 100 years of regained independence. The independence celebrations and the importance of independence for the three host countries will feature on all three visits.
Monday 11 June
The state visit to Latvia will begin with a welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in Riga. Following a meeting with President Vējonis, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will lay flowers at the Freedom Monument. They will also meet with Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis and the Speaker of the Saeima (or Latvian parliament) Ināra Mūrniece.
To mark 100 years of Latvian independence, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will present President Vējonis with a copy of Rijks, Masters of the Golden Age at the National Library of Latvia. The book, by designer Marcel Wanders, depicts various master works from the Golden Age from the collection of the Rijksmuseum. The book presentation is a fixed part of the programme for all official visits to Latvia in 2018. At the end of the year all the books received will be exhibited before being made available for loan to the public. The royal couple and President Vējonis will also visit the temporary exhibition ‘In the Shadow of Rembrandt’, which includes etchings by Dutch contemporaries of Rembrandt from the library’s own collection.
At the end of the afternoon the King and Queen will attend the closing ceremony of the ‘Get Connected!’ seminar at the headquarters of the Freeport of Riga. At the seminar, representatives of the Dutch and Latvian governments, knowledge institutions and businesses including the Port of Rotterdam and the Connekt network organisation will share their knowledge of innovations in transport and logistics and present new sustainable concepts.
The day will close with a state banquet at the presidential palace.
Tuesday 12 June
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit the temporary exhibition ‘Latvia’s Century’ in the National History Museum, which celebrates 100 years of the Republic of Latvia and draws on exhibits from 68 Latvian museums.
The state visit to Latvia will conclude with a reception for representatives of the Dutch community in the Great Guild. Built as a guild hall for German merchants in the fourteenth century, the hall bears the coats of arms of Dutch Hanseatic League cities. The royal couple will then depart for Tallinn for their state visit to Estonia.
* Following the death of her sister Inés Zorreguieta, Queen Máxima will not be accompanying King Willem-Alexander on the state visits to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.