King Willem-Alexander has been appointed a supernumerary Knight of the Garter by Her Majesty The Queen today on the first day of the state visit.
Membership in the Order is limited and includes the Monarch, the Princes of Wales, no more than 24 companion members and various supernumerary members. Her Majesty The Queen is known as the Sovereign of the Garter, and only she can grant membership.
The King’s mother, Princess Beatrix, was made a member of the Order in 1989 when she was still Queen. Her banner hangs in St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Máxima are currently on a state visit to the United Kingdom. This morning, The King and Queen of the Netherlands were welcomed by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Dutch Ambassador’s Residence in London. The royal couples posed in front of two paintings of Dutch-born King William III and his wife Queen Mary II.
The King and Queen of the Netherlands were then welcomed by Her Majesty The Queen at the Royal Pavilion at Horse Guards in London, after which The Prince of Wales and the Dutch King inspected the Guard of Honour. The Guard of Honour gave a Royal Salute, and the Dutch National Anthem was played the Band of the Regiment. King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty The Queen are distant cousins, and the Dutch King is distantly in line for the British throne.
After the official welcome, the Queen, The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and The King and Queen of the Netherlands took part in a carriage procession. Once at Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty the Queen showed King Willem-Alexander Queen Máxima an exhibition that showcases Dutch-related items in the Royal Collection.
Later in the afternoon, the Dutch King and Queen toured Westminster Abbey and viewed the graves of King William III and Mary II. They also placed a wreath on the grave of the Unknown Warrior.
This evening, Her Majesty The Queen will host a State Dinner at Buckingham Palace.