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King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima arrive in Australia

As part of their visit to Australia and New Zealand the King and Queen of the Netherlands made a two-day visit to Perth earlier this week to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog’s landing in Australia.

Their visit included a trip to the offices of oil and gas giant Shell and a tour of Curtin University. They also visited the Western Australian Maritime Museum where they met children from Perth Dutch school Language One, historians, and members of the Dutch community. They were welcomed by crowds dressed in orange waving Australian and Dutch flags and signs reading ‘We Love Max’ could be seen.

While at the museum they received a brief local history lesson from Fremantle historian Mike Lefroy and were officially welcomed by Premier Colin Barnett and his wife. They then unveiled the historic Dirk Hartog dish which is in Western Australia on loan from Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. The pewter plate is Australia’s oldest European relic and carries an inscription which marked the Dutch explorer’s voyage.

The royal couple spent Tuesday – their final day in Perth – celebrating Melbourne Cup day by watching the races with Chairman of Perth Racing Neil Pinner at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse.

It was clear the King and Queen were embracing the excited atmosphere as they spoke to jockeys, owners and other members of WA’s racing industry in the mounting yard before making their way through the grandstand to watch the races trackside from the rail.

Queen Maxima looked elegant in a blue, knee-length Art Deco dress by Natan designer Edouard Vermeulen accompanied by a wide-brimmed hat with matching gloves and Gianvito Rossi Metallic Pumps. To complete the look she added drop earrings and a delicate bracelet. Designer sunglasses shielded her eyes from the bright sun as she smiled and waved to well-wishers and fellow race-goers. King Willem-Alexander’s blue suit and sunny tie beautifully complimented his wife’s sophisticated race outfit.

Following their day at the races the couple flew to Canberra to attend a state lunch held by Governor General Peter Cosgrove and to lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial. From Canberra they are due to visit Sydney and Brisbane before flying on to New Zealand where they will spend November 7 to 9.

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