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European RoyalsThe Netherlands

A year of travel and change for the Dutch Royal Family

Like most other royal families, the Dutch Royal Family has had a busy 2022 as engagements and travel has returned to normal. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima travelled extensively this year, while their eldest daughter, Princess Catherina-Amalia, entered a new chapter in her life. 

The family had a quiet January, with engagements starting again in the second half of the month. 

Early in February, the Royal House of the Netherlands announced that The King and Queen would have a State Visit to Greece in March of 2022. However, the trip was postponed by the second week of March due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The couple visited with Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands at the beginning of March, and Willem-Alexander released this statement on 24 February: 

“Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine and everyone affected by the violence. Our thoughts are very much with the people there and with the Ukrainian community in the Netherlands, who will be anxious about the situation of their families and friends.”

King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, and Princess Beatrix attended the Service of Thanksgiving in honour of The Duke of Edinburgh’s life and legacy on 18 March at Westminster Abbey. 

At the beginning of April, The King and Queen hosted the President of India for a State Visit. The Invictus Games were held in The Hague from 16 to 22 April, and members of the Royal Family took in several events. Willem-Alexander joined Prince Harry to watch the wheelchair basketball final before the closing ceremonies. At the end of the month, the family celebrated King’s Day in Maastricht. 

Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images for Invictus Games The Hague 2020

May was a month of regular engagements for the Dutch royals. Princess Margriet returned to Canada for a visit initially scheduled for 2020. The Princess was born in Canada during the Second World War and regularly visits Canada. 

Princess Catharina-Amalia and her parents attended Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway’s 18th birthday celebrations in June. It was a notable event, as several of Europe’s heirs attended the event as their first tiara event, including Catherina-Amalia’s. The King and Queen also hosted the first diplomatic dinner at the Royal Palace in three years and finished the month with a state visit to Austria. 

The King and Queen undertook regular engagements in July, and the family took their annual summer holiday in August. 

In September, Princess Catharina-Amalia started university at the University of Amsterdam, where she is studying a BSc in Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics. Unfortunately, although the Princess began her term living in student accommodations, she was forced to move back home with her parents after it emerged that she might be a target for kidnapping. 

She also attended her first Opening of Parliament as Princess of Orange. Known as Prinsjedag, it occurs on the third Tuesday of September each year where The King gives a speech from the government. The day was marked by protests from farmers who were critical of a new nitrogen plan. 

BBC still/ fair use

King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, and Princess Beatrix attended Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London at Westminster Abbey. Upon her passing, The King released a statement: 

“We remember Queen Elizabeth II with deep respect and great affection. Steadfast and wise, she dedicated her long life to serving the British people. We feel a strong bond with the United Kingdom and its royal family, and we share their sorrow at this time. We are very grateful for our countries’ close friendship, to which Queen Elizabeth made such an unforgettable contribution.”

In October, Willem-Alexander and Máxima were in Sweden for another State Visit, this time with a family connection. Princess Estelle welcomed the couple at the beginning of their visit; The King is godfather to the ten-year-old Princess and looked thrilled to see his goddaughter. 

Photo: Sara Friberg/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and Queen, as well as all three of their daughters, attended a new exhibition marking the life and reign of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. The family took in “The century of Juliana” at Amsterdam’s De Nieuwe Kerk and held a photo session. 

In early December, the government announced that The King had ordered an independent investigation into the Dutch Royal Family’s role in colonialism. The four-member panel consists of a human-rights specialist and three historians and will research from the sixteenth century to the present. 

King Willem-Alexander released his Christmas message on television at 1 pm on Christmas Day. 

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