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CoronavirusEuropean RoyalsThe Netherlands

Queen Máxima pays digital visit to youth psychiatric centre

© RVD - Martijn Beekman

Queen Máxima paid a virtual visit to Karakter, a child- and youth-based academic and psychiatry centre on Thursday.

On their official website, Karakter noted that, “The corona measures are difficult for many children, young people and their parents. Character is extremely proud of the dedication of employees in these complicated times. This was an important reason to invite Queen Máxima to get to know the organization and its employees.”

During her virtual visit, Queen Máxima met with young people currently receiving treatment, their parents, and the practitioners about “prevention and normalization, cooperation, care innovation, and the impact of the corona crisis.”

Karakter has locations all over the Netherlands and focuses on academic research and treatment for young people with psychiatric issues, including “diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, autism, depression, anxiety and compulsive disorders, behavioral disorders, psychosis and other psychiatric problems.”

In one video chat, Queen Máxima spoke to a young boy named Rens, who greeted her with “Hi Queen,” and told her that “Mom and Dad have often seen you on TV.”

The queen admitted that she was sometimes on television, and asked him how school was going, to which he replied that he had a lot of teachers, but had a more pressing follow-up question for her: “You have a very luxurious car, right?”

Queen Máxima also spoke with several practitioners, including Professor Wouter Staal, who told her about “psychological vulnerability and the importance of prevention and normalization of psychological problems.” She also met with practitioners to discuss care innovation and the importance of early treatment, as well as the impact on families.

Just before her visit ended, Queen Máxima also learned how the coronavirus pandemic has affected Karakater. The practitioners noted that there was a decrease in registrations during the first wave, but that they’re starting to increase again.

They noted that the severity of complaints is also increasing, and that the pandemic has been particularly stressful for young people due to the “disappearance of the daily structure that schools and sports clubs offer.”

Queen Máxima’s visit lasted an hour and a half. Afterwards, Karakter wrote on their website, “We can look back on a very nice working visit and were honored to receive Queen Máxima digitally.”

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.