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The Netherlands

Dutch royals host Paralympic delegation at Noordeinde Palace

willem alexander
© RVD - Martijn Beekman

On Tuesday, Noordeinde Palace in The Hague saw a gathering of the best athletes the country has to offer. 

Just a month after King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima welcomed the Dutch Olympic delegation, the same Royal Palace hosted the country’s Paralympic athletes, returning from Tokyo with 59 medals, of which 25 were gold, 17 silver and 17 bronze.

The delegation was welcomed by King Willem-Alexander and his aunt, Princess Margriet, with His Majesty being an Honorary Member of the International Olympic Committee and the Princess being an Honorary Member of the International Paralympic Committee. Her Royal Highness has always had a strong relationship with the Dutch Paralympic Team. 

Just like their Olympic colleagues, the Paralympic delegation to Tokyo was also received earlier in the day by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sports, Paulus Blokhuis at Sportcamp Zuiderpark. However, it hasn’t been made known if they would also get the evening reception at the Olympic Park. 

King Willem-Alexander has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1998; from 1998 to 2013, he was an active member. As such, he has taken part in many decisions for hosting cities and countries for both Summer and Winter Olympics. Since his ascension to the throne following his mother’s abdication in 2013, he has stepped down and is now an honorary member. 

Princess Margriet, the third child of the late Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, is the oldest member of the International Paralympic Committee Honorary Board, and she is joined, among others, by members of royalty worldwide, like Prince Albert of Monaco, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Princess Haya bint Al Hussein (daughter of Jordan’s former King Hussein and his third wife, Queen Alia).