The first day of the Dutch State Visit is drawing to a close and, as usual, the pomp and circumstance have caught our imaginations. But behind the glitter and the glamour are lots of special royal details that make this trip even more exciting. And we got to see lots of them in advance thanks to the rather busy official social media accounts of the British and Dutch royal families. Here are some of the behind the scenes treats from the State Visit of the King and Queen of the Netherlands to the United Kingdom.
Carriages and Kings
You can’t have a State Visit without a carriage procession and this time round, the royal guests really travelled in style. Out of the stalls for this visit by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were two very modern takes on the traditional coach. The Diamond Jubilee State Coach has electric windows and heating and which, as you might have guessed already, came into service to mark the 60th anniversary of the accession of Elizabeth II. Also on display was the Australian State Coach, presented to the Royal Family to mark the Bicentenary of Australia in 1988 and with the same mod cons as the Jubilee carriage.
After the traditional lunch, there was the equally traditional display of items from the Royal Collection with links to the visitors’ home country. There are plenty of ties between Dutch and British royals over the years and this exhibition, in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace, included vintage photos of meetings between the ruling houses in the 20th century.
There was also a starring role for a golden tray made for King George IV which featured all his European honours including the highest awarded by the Netherlands, the Order of William. The Dutch Gift, the spectacular set of paintings given to Charles II by the Netherlands on his restoration to the throne, was also on show.
William and Mary
Let’s face it, no one was getting out of this State Visit without a mention or three of William III and Mary II. The Dutch born king and his British wife made an early appearance in portrait form on the walls of the residence of the Dutch Ambassador in London where the royal visitors were greeted by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall ahead of their official welcome this morning.
Britain’s only joint sovereigns also took a starring role in the Buckingham Palace exhibition where items marking their coronations were on show. And later on, during their visit to Westminster Abbey, Willem-Alexander and Maxima visited the graves of William and Mary.
Oranges for pudding
One of the best things about royal social media is the peeps at yummy food we get whenever the words ”State Banquet” are mentioned. This time round, ahead of the dinner at Buckingham Palace that brought day one of the visit to an end, it was time to talk pudding. The chefs in the royal kitchens were shown preparing a (rather lovely looking) chocolate orange torte and some rather elaborate pastry creations on official social media accounts.
It was an appetising end to a day packed with history and tradition as, for the third time in her reign, the Queen hosted a Dutch State Visit to the UK.