Click the button for the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic and how it is impacting the royals

The Netherlands

Dutch State Visit to Indonesia: Day One

King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima
Photo RVD, Erwin Olaf

The King and Queen of the Netherlands have officially begun their State Visit to Indonesia. The royal couple were given a ceremonial welcome to the country as it was confirmed that their trip would be shortened by a day out of respect for those who died and were affected by a recent boat disaster in Indonesia.

Embed from Getty Images

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima began their three days in the country by remembering those who lost their lives in conflict. They laid a wreath at Kalibata in memory of those killed in the Indonesian War of Independence between 1945 and 1949.

Embed from Getty Images

The official welcome, given by President Joko Widodo and his wife, Iriana, followed at the Presidential Palace in Bogor. King Willem-Alexander inspected a guard of honour and he was joined by Queen Maxima in planting a tree in the gardens of the palace. A State Lunch then followed.

Embed from Getty Images

Later, the royal visitors spent time at the Plot of Honour at Menteng Pulo to remember the Dutch military forces buried there who fought in the Second World War and the Indonesian War of Independence. The couple laid a wreath and paid their respects in a sombre ceremony.

Embed from Getty Images

The later part of day one had a focus on economics with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima visiting a chocolate factory that puts a focus on producing cocoa in a sustainable way. Pipiltin Cocoa works towards preservation of the rainforest in Indonesia and the Dutch royals were given an overview of their production techniques as well as a chance to try some of the sweets on offer. Willem-Alexander and Maxima then met those involved with the economic mission and oversaw the signing of several co-operation agreements between Dutch and Indonesian companies.

Embed from Getty Images

Day One of the State Visit came to an end with a tour of the photo exhibition at Erasmus House in Jakarta which is marking its 50th anniversary this year. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima also met members of the Dutch community living in Indonesia at a reception. Their State Visit will continue on March 11th and Royal Central will have full coverage.

About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.