King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands have begun a three-day State Visit to Ireland. If Brexit goes ahead, Ireland will be more isolated from the European Union, and the Dutch and Irish are eager to retain their ties. The Dutch Royals were received in Dublin at Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of President Higgins and his wife, Sabina Higgins. Both ladies dazzled with their fashion choices. Sabina Higgins wore a bright pink midi dress with asymmetric draping and a matching fascinator while the Dutch Queen wore a midi dress by her favourite Dutch designer Claes Iversen with a multi-bracelet sleeve detail and gold metal belt.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima planted a tree in the garden, in accordance with Irish tradition, and rang a peace bell. They then travelled to the centre of Dublin to place a wreath in the Garden of Remembrance for the men and women who were killed in the battle for Irish Independence.
In the afternoon, the Dutch Royals headed to Leinster House, the national parliament of Ireland, to meet with the president of the House of Representatives (Dáil) and the Senate (Seanad). The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to IT and technology, and they visited Dogpatch Labs, a start-up hub bases in Dublin’s Silicon Docks. They spoke with Dutchman Tim Arits who moved to Dublin seven years ago to work for Google and who now has his own business. He said, “For us, this place is interesting because we are close to the big guys. And for larger companies, it is interesting to have innovative start-ups around them, because the larger the company, the more difficult it becomes to be innovative.”
The first day of the State Visit concluded with a state banquet in the presidential palace where both the Irish President and King Willem-Alexander held a speech.