(VIDEOS) His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands Opens the Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere.

On Wednesday, April 13, 2022, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands officially opened the 7th International Horticultural Exhibition Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere.

Held every ten years the theme of the 2022 exhibition, Growing Green Cities, focuses on the need to combine nature and cities. According to RVD,  the “…Dutch horticultural sector, together with four hundred international participants, will present its innovative ideas and solutions.”

Floriade Expo will be open to the public from April 14 to October 9, 2022.

Please click here to view a photo gallery.

His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco Tests Positive for COVID-19.

On Wednesday, April 13, 2022, the Palais Princier de Monaco announced that His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the second time since the pandemic began that the sovereign prince has had the virus. In March 2020 Prince Albert II was diagnosed with COVID-19. He was the first of several heads-of-state in Europe to test positive.

In a press release the Palais Princier noted that the sovereign prince is:

Asymptomatic at this time, his state of health inspires absolutely no concern. He works remotely, in permanent contact with the members of his cabinet, his government as well as with his close collaborators. This period of isolation will adapt to the health rules in force. 

This evening, His Serene Highness was due to attend the 23rd Annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala held at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The sovereign prince is being recognized for his dedication to ocean conservation and sustainability.

(VIDEO) HRH The Prince of Wales Sends a Video Message During the Opening of the 7th Our Ocean Conference.

On Wednesday, April 13, 2022, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales sent a video message during the 7th Our Ocean Conference, held under the theme Our Ocean, Our People, Our Prosperity, co-hosted by the Republic of Palau and the United States.

Per a press release regarding the two-day conference:

“The Republic of Palau and the United States opened the 7th Our Ocean Conference (OOC) today, marking the first time this event has been held in a small island developing state (SIDS). For SIDS, this underscores the critical role and leadership of indigenous peoples and local communities in tackling the climate change and ocean crises.

Palau and the United States organized this gathering of more than 500 representatives from foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, academic and research institutions, the private sector, and civil society organizations. Among the participants is a special group of youth delegates who are showcasing their leadership and youth-led initiatives for ocean action.

President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry, who are co-hosting the conference, opened the conference, highlighting the Pacific’s long history of ocean stewardship, and called on participants to confront the challenges of the global climate-ocean crisis with a new level of urgency.In a joint statement, President Whipps and Mr. Kerry noted, ‘As governments around the world work to sustainably rebuild their economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we would do well to remember that the ocean holds as many opportunities for resilient low-carbon growth as can be found on land.’

The conference, titled ‘Our Ocean, Our People, Our Prosperity,’ focuses on combating climate change, promoting sustainable fisheries, creating sustainable blue economies, advancing marine protected areas, achieving a safe and secure ocean, and tackling marine pollution. The importance of ocean-based climate solutions and the centrality of a healthy ocean to small island developing states—and all places where the ocean is a primary source of sustenance—will be cross-cutting themes throughout the conference.

‘Our Ocean” is a signature platform to mobilize support for ocean action. The six previous conferences have garnered more than 1,400 commitments worth approximately $91.4 billion and protecting more than five million square miles of the ocean. Major new commitments from foreign governments, industry leaders, and philanthropies are expected to add to this year’s momentum and progress. ‘As with climate action on land, progress on ocean protection ultimately hinges on political will. It is worth reminding ourselves that, at the end of the day, we are all connected by the ocean,’ President Whipps and Mr. Kerry added.

Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands Meets with Young Homeless Individuals in Zoetermeer.

On the morning of Wednesday, April 13, 2022, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands accompanied by the State Secretary for Health, Welfare, and Sport, Mr. Maarten van Ooijen, met with young homeless individuals involved in the Kansfonds program in Zoetermeer. The Kansfonds program finances various initiatives to help young individuals get off the street and help them find a home of their own.

According to the official website for the Kansfond program there are:

“…8,500 registered homeless young people in the Netherlands. And that number continues to grow. Too many young people in the Netherlands live on the streets, sleep in night shelters, or on the couch with acquaintances. Kansfonds grants all young people a home, but that is no easy task. The young people often struggle with several complex problems at the same time: debts, no education or work, and substance use. They often get stuck in bureaucracy.”

During today’s meeting, Her Majesty and State Secretary Van Ooijen spoke with the young individuals who are part of the Kansfonds program and how the organization made a difference for them in their search for a home.  

Thereafter, Her Majesty Queen Maxima participated in an “…action research session on collaboration with housing associations whereupon she listened to various issues encountered by the initiatives in their work…” according to an RVD press release.  Her Majesty was also informed about the incredible steps the Kansfond program has made since the last time she visited the organization in 2018.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Kansfond program and all the great work they do please visit their official website here.

Photos courtesy of RVD/Rotapool/M.Schoemaker