Press release

Dutch Royals welcomed to London for their first state visit

Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands come to the UK on 23 and 24 October for their first state visit.

Her Majesty The Queen and King Willem Alexander leaving Horseguards Parade in a carriage

The visit will showcase the breadth and depth of the relationship between the UK and The Netherlands, including through trade, innovation and security.

The state visit is an excellent opportunity to celebrate and deepen our connections. Our relationship may be changing but we are confident that the Netherlands and the UK will continue to have a close relationship and work together to tackle global issues.

The UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will also use the opportunity to meet with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

The UK and The Netherlands have a rich, long history between our people and of course our Royal Families. So it is a pleasure to welcome His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to the United Kingdom, reflecting our enduring commitment to this partnership.

Together we work to further peace and security across the globe, tackling threats from terrorism and cyber and promoting values of freedom. I look forward to celebrating our connections and shared successes with Foreign Minister Stef Blok, looking at ensuring this continues for years to come.

From the 17th century to the present day, trade relations between our countries continue to flourish; The Netherlands is the UK’s third largest trading partner. Only this year, Heineken announced an investment of £44 million – creating over 1,000 jobs in the UK – while fellow Dutch company NewCold has invested £100 million in a new distribution centre in Wakefield, adding a further 70 jobs in the next 2 years to the current team of 200.

DIT Minister for Investment Graham Stuart and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Europe, Andrew Mitchell, will be hosting the UK-Netherlands Innovation Showcase at Mansion House on Wednesday. As world leaders in Global Innovation, the showcase will celebrate Dutch and British collaboration in finding innovative solutions for the Grand Challenges of tomorrow, including clean growth, solutions for the aging society, AI and data and the future of mobility.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said:

The Dutch state visit is an opportunity to celebrate the UK and the Netherlands’ more than 400-year long trading heritage. As the UK forges an independent trade policy for the first time in more than four decades, my international economic department is working with the Dutch – our North Sea Partners – towards a bright trading future too.

The Innovation Showcase will demonstrate the huge opportunities for our economies – 2 of the world’s most innovative – to collaborate even further, creating jobs and prosperity for generations to come.

Queen Máxima and the Earl of Wessex viewing a robot at the Innovation Showcase.
Queen Máxima and the Earl of Wessex viewing a robot demonstration at the Innovation Showcase.

As part of the state visit Their Majesties will visit HMS Belfast and the visiting Dutch Offshore Patrol Vessel, HNLMS Zeeland, moored alongside. This visit will celebrate 45 years of cooperation between the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps and the Royal Marines, culminating with a joint on-water capability demonstration on the Thames.

The Royal Marines and Royal Netherlands Marines have long served together on operations across the globe – most recently offering humanitarian support to islands affected by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.

Speaking ahead of the visit to HMS Belfast, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Our forces have worked closely with the Netherlands amphibious forces for more than 45 years, demonstrating world-class military integration. Right now, our Royal Marines are working alongside their Dutch counterparts in Norway as part of the Defence Arctic Strategy, which shows our deep-shared commitment to European security. This state visit allows us to take stock and celebrate an enduring alliance with one of our closest defence partners.

The King and Queen of the Netherlands and the Earl and Countess of Wessex on board the aboard the Dutch ship HNLMS Zeeland
The King and Queen of the Netherlands on board the aboard the Dutch ship HNLMS Zeeland watching the joint naval display on the Thames.

Their Majesties will also visit Pop Brixton, a pioneering space in South London that supports independent businesses from Brixton and Lambeth, and meet with Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street on Wednesday (24 October).

King Willem-Alexander meeting people at Pop Brixton
King Willem-Alexander meeting people during the visit to Pop Brixton.


Her Majesty The Queen shaking hands with King Willem-Alexander on his arrival in Horseguards Parade
The Queen greets King Willem-Alexander as he arrives in Horseguards Parade.

State visit on social media

Watch an overview of the Netherlands state visit

Netherlands state visit

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Published 22 October 2018
Last updated 24 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added links to press releases about post-Brexit security cooperation and UK-Dutch trade.
  2. First published.