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King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima conclude state visit to Italy and the Vatican

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands have concluded their historic state visit to Italy and the Vatican. The four-day state visit began on 20 June at the invitation of the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Matterella. They were joined by Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development.

On their first day, the King and Queen were welcomed by President Mattarella and his daughter Laura in the courtyard of the Presidential Palace. The King and the President inspected the guard of honour, and both national anthems were played. The King and Queen were then received by the Chairman of the Senate, Pietro Grasso, and his wife Maria at the Palazzo Giustiniani. They were then invited to lunch with the Prime Minister of Italy, Paolo Gentiloni, and his wife Emanuela Maura at the Palazzo Chigi. In the afternoon, the King and Queen paid a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, where they also laid a wreath. Afterwards, they met with the President of the Chamber of Deputies and were received by the mayor of Rome. In the evening, the President hosted a state banquet for the King and Queen at the Palazzo del Quirinale, where His Majesty was joined by his cousin, Prince Jaime of Bourbon-Parma, who is also the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherland to the Holy See and his wife, Princess Viktória.

On the second day, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima visited Palermo in Sicily, where they were received by Mayor Leoluca Orlando. They walked through the town towards the city hall, where they signed the guest book. They then visited the Palazzo Reale, the seat of the Sicilian Parliament and the Cappella Palatina, the former Royal Chapel of the Norman Kings of Sicily. They also walked through the market town of Mercato del Capo. They also paid a visit to the Piazza della Memoria, a monument in memory of the murdered mafia magistrates, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. Later that day, Their Majesties were present at the signing of an agreement between Italy and the Netherlands in the field of fighting human trafficking. They returned to Rome in the afternoon and in the evening they hosted a concert.

On the third day, the King and Queen visited the Holy See. They began their tour at the Frisians Church, where they were welcomed by Bishop Emeritus Antoon Hurkmans. They were then received at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican by Pope France, where they had a private conversation that lasted 35 minutes. They also paid a visit to the Biblioteca Apostolica and had a meeting with the Vatican Secretary of State. In the afternoon, Their Majesties travelled to Milan, where they were met by the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, who joined them for a visit of the Refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie. In the evening, they were hosted at a trade dinner.

On the fourth and final day, the King and Queen visited the Rosanna Orlando Gallery in Milan and the La Triennale Design Museum. The last event of the four-day state visit was a visit to the Global Denim Awards exhibition.

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