Other receptions

The King regularly receives individuals who play an influential role in politics or society in audience or at lunch or dinner. In addition, he hosts New Year receptions.


An audience lasts for some 20 to 30 minutes. Those who are received include heads of government, senior government officials, ambassadors, senior military personnel or – in highly exceptional cases – private individuals. An audience may also form part of an official visit to the Netherlands.

Image: ©ANP / Bart Maat
The Hague, 24 March 2014: King Willem-Alexander holds an audience with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit.

Dinner or lunch

To enable them to keep up to date with developments in society at large, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima regularly invite people to lunch or dinner.  

 ‘Highflyers’ lunch

Two or three times a year, the King and Queen host a lunch at Noordeinde Palace for individuals in the Netherlands who have distinguished themselves through outstanding achievements in sectors such as sport, the arts, journalism, care, voluntary work and business. In this way, the King and Queen express their high regard for those who have excelled in these fields.


Depending on how long they have been in post in the Netherlands, departing foreign ambassadors may be invited to lunch or received in audience.  

New Year receptions

In early January every year, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima host a New Year reception at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam for the diplomatic corps and representatives of international organisations.

They also hold a reception for Dutch dignitaries, government officials and representatives of civil society organisations and the emergency services.