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NorwayThe Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima head to Trondheim as State Visit to Norway comes to an end


Photo by Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, Det kongelige hoff

The three-day-long Dutch state visit to Norway has ended as King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima travelled to Trondheim to hear about green energy and the many opportunities the sea offers.

Crown Prince Haakon, who missed the first days of the visit after experiencing symptoms of a cold, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit accompanied the Dutch royal couple during the visit on November 11th 2021.

As a host city for the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and a number of other important research environments, Trondheim is at the forefront in areas such as sustainable aquaculture and marine technology.

Both Norway and the Netherlands have long traditions as seafaring nations with a close relationship to the sea. Today, both countries are strongly committed to the development of sustainable management of the sea and the enormous resources it holds. Crown Prince Haakon gave the first introduction of the day. He pointed out some of the many challenges faced, but first and foremost he pointed out all the possibilities that lie in a healthy sea.

The first visit was to SINTEF Ocean and NTNU Ocean to hear about some of their projects. The meeting took place in Powerhouse Brattørkaia, the world’s northernmost plus house. During its lifetime, the building will produce more solar energy than it uses. Autonomous ships and drones for data collection and monitoring of facilities is a focus area. The royal visitors headed to Maritime Robotics to hear more about their work. On the way, they stopped at NTNU’s research ship Gunnerus. The ship is used for important data capture for research on aquaculture and marine environments and is partly electrically powered.

At Maritime Robotics, they heard more about three projects within the use of autonomous ships as well as mapping and monitoring of the seabed. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit hosted a lunch in Stiftsgården, the royal residence in Trondheim, and seafood was on the menu. The guests were served wild halibut, anglerfish and crayfish.

After lunch, King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and Crown Prince Haakon went to the university area Gløshaugen, where Norwegian and Dutch actors came together to discuss energy conversion, carbon capture and hydrogen. The royals met students who presented various topics of relevance to the panel debate that followed. In conclusion, the Dutch King and Queen as well as Crown Prince Haakon were able to witness the signing of an letter of intent between Norway and the Netherlands to enter into negotiations on carbon capture and storage.

The last visit of the day went to the national shrine at the Nidaros Cathedral. Bishop Olav Fykse Tveit gave the entourage a tour of the beautiful cathedral, before lighting candles at the Sami altar. The altar was inaugurated in 2017, during the 100th anniversary of the Sami first national meeting. Thursday, the royals heard a small concert at the altar, performed by the Trondheim Vocal Ensemble. The concert in Nidaros Cathedral ended King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s state visit to Norway. This is the ninth state visit between Norway and the Netherlands.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.