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SwedenThe Netherlands

Princess Estelle takes lead role as King and Queen of Netherlands arrive for State Visit

Princess Estelle took the lead role as King Willem-Alexander, her godfather, and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands arrived in Sweden on a State Visit.

The Dutch King and Queen arrived in Sweden at Arlanda Airport and were welcomed by Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. They then greeted King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia at the Royal Stables before taking a carriage ride through the streets of Stockholm.

The traditional welcome ceremony then took place in the Inner Courtyard of the Royal Palace, where the Kings inspected the troops and both national anthems were played. The Queens then greeted members of Official Sweden before the group met the people who had gathered in the courtyard to see the royals.

Photo: Sara Friberg/The Royal Court of Sweden

Once inside the Royal Palace, a special reunion took place when Princess Estelle, 10, was able to greet her godfather. The smiling pair were photographed mid-hug before official photos were taken of the Swedish Royal Family and the Dutch King and Queen. That, too, was a special moment, as King Willem-Alexander called Estelle over to stand between him and Queen Máxima for the photos.

King Carl Gustaf and King Willem-Alexander then gave a press conference ahead of a visit to the Vasa Museum. The royals were given a tour of the Vasa ship with both Swedish and Dutch connections as the Dutch retrieved the Sophia Albertina warship’s bell when it sank off the Dutch coast in 1781.

Photo: Sara Friberg/The Royal Court of Sweden

The official State Dinner was held in the evening at the Royal Palace. The Dutch royals were accompanied by the King, Queen, Crown Princess, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia, Princess Christina and her husband, Tord Magnuson. The Dutch delegation and official representatives from Sweden also attended.

The King of Sweden praised the close friendship between the two countries in his evening speech: “In times like these, close friendships and strong partnerships are more important than ever. Your Majesties: This state visit manifests the close bond between our countries and lays the ground for further cooperation and progress. Once again, it is my great joy to extend to you a very warm welcome to Sweden.”

The State Dinner provided the royals with the new orders from the Dutch and Swedish monarchs. The Swedish King gave King Willem-Alexander the Royal Chain of the Order of the Seraphim, which is a special honour after Willem-Alexander was made a member of the Order of the Seraphim in 1993. Queen Máxima was also made a member of the Order of the Seraphim; she had been a member of the Polar Star since 2009.

The Dutch King made Crown Princess Victoria a Grand Cross Member of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia were made Grand Cross Members of the Order of the Crown.

The visit continues on 12 October with a focus on business issues. On 13 October, the King and Queen of the Netherlands will travel to Gothenburg, where they will conclude their State Visit.

The King and Queen of the Netherlands are in Sweden for a State Visit from 11-13 October.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.