At the special invitation of the Governor-Generals of Australia and New Zealand, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will pay a visit to the two countries at the end of this month. The King and Queen of the Netherlands will be in Australia from 31st October to 4th November, and in New Zealand from 7th to 9th November.
The schedule for the King and Queen’s visit has recently been released. Their Majesties will be accompanied on the visit by Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, Minister for Foreign Trade Lilianne Ploumen, and Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp.
Monday, 31 October & Tuesday, 1 November – Perth
The King and Queen will spend the first two days of their visit in Western Australia. Following a welcome ceremony at Government House, the royal couple will go to Fremantle port and the Western Australian Maritime Museum, where they will spend time in the Shipwreck Galleries among others.
On Tuesday, Their Majesties will visit Curtin University, where in the Curtin Hube for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch (HIVE) they will be shown how data is converted into 3D images for use in research. The day’s programme will end at Ascot Racecourse, where the King and Queen will be able to follow the Melbourne Cup races.
Wednesday, 2 November – Canberra
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s time in Canberra will begin on a sombre note when they lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial before meeting Australian and Dutch veterans of the Second World War and wars in Afghanistan. The will also visit the MH17 monument and meet Australian officals who provided assistance in response to the MH17 plane crash. After a lunch at Government House, the King and Queen will meet with Australians of Dutch descent at the National Archives.
Wednesday, 2 November & Thursday, 3 November – Sydney
From Canberra, the King and Queen will travel to Sydney to attend a concert by Dutch pianists Lucas and Arthur Jussen at the infamous Sydney Opera House.
The next morning the pair will attend a meeting of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency on potential Australian investments in the Netherlands, following which the King and Queen will be given a tour of research projects on which Australian and Dutch students are working together at the University of Sydney. After visiting the university, King Willem-Alexander will attend the final session of a meeting between Dutch and Australian CEOs, while Queen Máxima will attend the close of a meeting on smart cities.
Friday, 4 November – Brisbane
On their last day in Australia, the King and Queen will visit Queensland University of Technology to hear about the water management partnership between the Netherlands and Australia. They will then take a boat ride down the Brisbane River to see the measures taken to combat flooding, and will end their visit at the Queensland Art Gallery.
Monday, 7 November – Wellington
After the weekend, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will arrive in the capital city of New Zealand, where they will be greeted by a traditional welcome ceremony at Government House. They will lay a wreath at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and visit the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, before embarking on a guided tour of the Great War Exhibition that was created by director Peter Jackson, who hails from New Zealand. Their Majesties will also visit Park Road Post Production, where the sound and pictures for films including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies were edited. The day will end with a banquet at Government House.
Tuesday, 8 November – Christchurch
The King and Queen will begin their day with a visit to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, which runs a breeding programme for the endangered New Zealand kiwi, before traveling to the headquarters of the Ng?i Tahu Iwi, the largest Maori tribe on the South Island. Later, the royal couple will visit the city of Christchurch to view the effects of the earthquake in 2011 and the redevelopment efforts.
Wednesday, 9 November – Auckland
During their final day Down Under, King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit the Auckland Art Gallery, and attend an economic conference on the future of food. Finally, the King and Queen will visit the training vessel Spirit of New Zealand which teaches skills like communication and leadership while on sailing trips, before departing for the Netherlands.
The main focus of this state visit will be on expanding the Netherlands’ long-standing bilateral ties with the two countries, and will draw attention to the military and academic partnerships between Australia and the Netherlands. In New Zealand, almost 60 businesses will participate in a trade mission about horticulture, life sciences and health, smart cities and sports, with the view to come up with innovative and sustainable solutions to societal challenges.