Programme for the state visit to the United Kingdom

On 23 and 24 October 2018 His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima will pay a state visit to the United Kingdom at the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal Couple will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stef Blok

The state visit reaffirms the excellent ties between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom as North Sea neighbours, based on shared values in the past, present and future. The visit will focus on common social challenges, peace and security, including military cooperation, and the economy and innovation. 

Tuesday 23 October

The state visit will commence on Tuesday morning with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall greeting the King and Queen at the Dutch ambassador’s residence. This will be followed by a ceremony at Horse Guards Parade, where the King and Queen will be welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II.

After lunch at Buckingham Palace, the King and Queen will view a special exhibition in the Picture Gallery, made up of items from the Royal Collection relating to The Netherlands. Afterwards, they will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. A short tour of the Abbey will lead them past the vault where the Dutch-born Stadholder-King William III and his English wife, Queen Mary II, are buried. 
The King will then deliver an address to the Houses of Parliament and he and Queen Máxima will speak briefly with several members. They will then meet the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall for tea at Clarence House. Afterwards, the King and Queen will speak with the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn.

The first day of the visit will close with a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

Before the state visit begins, on Tuesday morning, the King and Queen will meet a number of Dutch citizens who live in the United Kingdom. At the Dutch ambassador’s residence, they will discuss current issues that reflect the close ties between the two countries. They will talk with Dutch entrepreneurs, academics and creatives, volunteers from the Dutch community and Dutch nationals who are concerned about the consequences of Brexit. 

Wednesday 24 October 

The second day of the state visit will first focus on the economic cooperation between the two countries and their leading positions in terms of innovation. Following breakfast with the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Mr Charles Bowman, the King and Queen will hear about commercial solutions to challenges in society developed by Dutch and British businesses and research institutions. The main themes will be artificial intelligence, sustainable production, modern mobility and the challenges of an ageing population. The Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok and the UK Minister for Investment, Department for International Trade, Graham Stuart, will both give a speech. The Earl and Countess of Wessex will attend the breakfast and the showcases on innovation.

The focus of the next programme event will be the close cooperation between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom on peace and security. To mark the 45th anniversary of the United Kingdom/Netherlands Amphibious Force, the two marine corps will hold a joint demonstration on the Thames. On board the Dutch patrol ship HNLMS Zeeland, the King and Queen, together with the Duke of Kent and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, will speak with veterans and military personnel about cooperation in practice.

A visit to the south London district of Brixton will highlight common social challenges such as integration, safety and diverse groups living together in a single neighbourhood. Pop Brixton supports local jobs, training and enterprise by providing space for startups and social projects. The businesses all invest at least one hour a week to support local activities with their knowledge and skills. By working with schools, charities and community organisations they nurture engagement with the local community. The King and Queen will visit Pop Brixton together with the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

In the afternoon, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, will receive the King and Queen for lunch at 10 Downing Street. The state visit will end at Buckingham Palace where the King and Queen will take leave of Queen Elizabeth II.