King Willem-Alexander and Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations arrived on Sint Maarten on Monday afternoon, local time. They landed on a battered Princess Juliana International Airport, where they were immediately faced with the devastation Hurricane Irma left in its wake. Back in the mainland Netherlands, a more hopeful scene unfolded at Eindhoven Airport, as the first 100 or so evacuees from the hurricane hit island were reunited with family members.
King Willem-Alexander will visit Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba on Monday to see the aftermath of Hurricane Irma with his own eyes, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said on Curacao on Sunday afternoon, ANP reports.
Plasterk spoke with the press after visiting patients at the Sint Elisabeth Hospital, who were flown to Curacao after the hurricane to get medical treatment. Before that he and the King visited the meteorological service in Curacao and the Parera naval center.
Princess Alexia went to her first day of high school on an old-school Dutch bicycle on Monday. As he did with her older sister Amalia two years ago, King Willem-Alexander recorded a video of his middle-child leaving for school and the Koninklijk Huis posted it on social media.
Jorge Zorreguieta, Queen Maxima's father, passed away at the age of 89 in the Fundaleu clinic in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, the Dutch King and Queen confirmed "with great sadness" in a statement. Zorreguieta had been suffering from a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for a long time.
Zorreguieta had been seriously ill for several years, according to Het Parool. In November 2014 he was also admitted to the Fundaleu clinic in serious condition. However he recovered and was even in the Netherlands for King Willem-Alexander's birthday in April.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima officially opened the National Monument for the victims of flight MH17 during the memorial service on the third anniversary of the disaster on Monday afternoon. The monument is located in Vijfhuizen Park next to Schiphol Airport, where MH17 took off on July 17th, 2014.
The memorial on the third anniversary of the MH17 disaster started at 2:00 p.m. at the site of the National MH17 Monument in Park Vijfhuizen, next to Schiphol airport. The search for the perpetrators behind MH17's downing continues, but finding a way to move on is just as important, Evert van Zijtveld said on behalf of the survivors' foundation Vliegramp MH17, according to AD's live blog of the memorial.
The MH17 National Monument in Vijfhuizen will be unveiled at the memorial of the disaster on Monday afternoon. Exactly three years ago today Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard, including 196 Dutch.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is paying a short work-visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday. He will spend half the day in The Hague, where he will meet members of the cabinet, the Dutch King and Queen and the Indian community in the Netherlands. The goal for this visit is to strengthen ties between the two countries, the Telegraaf reports.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima met with Pope Franciscus while on a State Visit to Vatican City on Thursday. According to the scedule, the meeting was set to take 15 minutes, but went on for over 30, according to newspaper AD.
Tom Dumoulin's historic victory in the Giro race in Italy is on the front page of all major Dutch newspapers on Monday. Big things are expected for te 26-year-old cyclist. Dumoulin is the first Dutch ever to win the Giro d'Italia and only the third Dutch to win a major cycling race. This is the first major cycling victory for the Netherlands in 37 years, according to AD.
King Willem-Alexander is deeply affected by a "terrifying" explosion in Manchester on Monday that left at least 22 people dead, including children. Over 50 others were injured in the explosion at Manchester Arena, just after a concert by teenage pop star Ariana Grande.
King Willem-Alexander is proud of the way in which the Netherlands sheltered 65 thousand asylum seekers that flooded into the country since 2015, he said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Republica. He is proud to say that not one asylum seeker had to sleep on the street, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch King called the Netherlands a school example of a multicultural society, and Amsterdam the capital of tolerance. He added that the Netherlands has been sheltering people from all over the world for centuries.
King Willem-Alexander has been a guest-pilot at KLM for the past 21 years. That means that he co-pilots two KLM Cityhopper flights per month. The King calls it an ideal hobby for forgetting about your everyday problems. "You can completely switch off and focus on something else", he said in an interview with the Telegraaf, adding that it is impossible to fly a plane if you bring "problems from the ground with you".
The Dutch public is more supportive of the monarchy this year. 70 percent of Dutch now say they are behind monarchy, compared to a low point of 65 percent last year, according to NOS' annual King's Day Survey performed by Ipsos. The increased support for the monarchy coincides with a slight increase in trust in King Willem-Alexander, NOS reports.
It took King Willem-Alexander some time during his teenage and student years to accept that he will someday take the thrown. His time traveling and meeting interesting people really helped with that, he said in an interview with Wilfried de Jong on Wednesday night, the night before his 50th birthday. He wants the same for crown princess Amalia before she takes over from him, the Volkskrant reports.
Lower house of parliament president Khadija Arib refused to cooperate in the wish of two of King Willem-Alexander's influential advisors to give the King more influence in the formation of the new cabinet, the Volkskrant reports.
Up until 2012 the ruling Dutch monarch played an active role in the formation of a new cabinet. The King or Queen could, for example, assign a "scout" to examine coalition possibilities and appoint informers. After a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, changed the rules in 2012, the Kamer itself performs these tasks.
King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrived in Rio de Janeiro to support the Dutch team in the Olympic Games, the Prime Minister said on Twitter.
Queen Máxima was named to Time Magazine’s Most Influential People list for 2016. The Argentine-born 44-year-old is the only Dutch citizen on this year’s ranking.
Tickets to one of this year’s most popular King’s Day party sold out in under an hour on Friday. Some 40 thousand tickets were purchased for the April 27 party organized by Radio 538 in Breda
"Europe is again put to the test", King Willem-Alexander said in a response to suicide bombings in the Netherlands' southern neighbor on Tuesday morning. At least 13 people were killed and 35 injured in explosions at Brussels airport Zaventem and metro station Maalbeek.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Queen Máxima, visited Parisian cafe Le Carillon on Friday, one of the locations that was targeted during the terrorist attacks in Paris last November. The royals listened to the cafe owner, an employee, first aid workers and residents describe the attack, immediate aftermath, and the impact it has had on their lives, the Dutch government announced on Friday.
A surgical procedure to mend the broken leg of Princess Alexia went well, the press office of the Dutch royal family announced late Saturday night. The princess is likely to remain hospitalized for the next few days after injuring herself in a skiing accident while on holiday in Lech, Austria.
Dutch parliamentarian Stientje van Veldhoven called for an end to the phrase “by the grace of God,” used when bills are signed into law by King Willem-Alexander. The D66 MP calls it a clear violation of separation of church and state, and she thinks a majority of MPs agree with her.
Doctors at Bronovo Hospital in Den Haag discharged Queen Máxima after keeping her for treatment and observation over a three-day period, the government’s media office revealed on Saturday. The Dutch queen was diagnosed with a kidney infection while visiting China with King Willem-Alexander and a Netherlands trade delegation.