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(VIDEO) Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands Visits the Zadkine Startcollege in Rotterdam.

On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands made a surprise visit to the Zadkine Startcollege in Rotterdam.  During today’s visit Her Majesty was given a tour of the school as well as met with students and staff.

(VIDEOS) HM King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands Opens the Erasmus Experience.

On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands officially opened the Erasmus Experience held at the Bibliotheek Rotterdam in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The library houses the world’s largest collection of books and letters by the famous the Dutch humanist, Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus. Approximately five thousand of these works form the basis for the interactive and permanent exhibition, Erasmus Experience.

Please click here to view photos.

HM Queen Maxima of the Netherlands Attends a Celebration in Zoetermeer.


On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attended the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Stichting Participatie, Integratie en Emancipatie Zoetermeer (Piëzo) in Zoetermeer.

According to RVD, the foundation:

“…focuses on people in vulnerable situations and gives them support in finding their way in society.

Ten years ago, the foundation has devised its own method to teach people to develop their talents and abilities. These ‘Piezo Methodology’ uses a five-step plan. The intended end result is that the participants are given sufficient basis for example, to get an education, to participate in the workforce or to volunteer. Piezo works partly with volunteers who have completed the program.

In 2006, the foundation began in one location. Today, there are four ‘Piezo Centres’ in Zoetermeer.  At these locations participants can follow the whole program. There is also a Piezo Support Centre. Since the focus is on the first three steps of the program; increase self-confidence and social empowerment; inventory of meaningful activities and participation in learning paths. There is also a craft workshop set up where people learn to self odd jobs to do around the house.” 

Please click here and here to view photos.

Photo courtesy of RVD/HKH

Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands Attends a Conference in Katwijk.

koningin-maxima-okt-15-lOn Monday, September 26, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attended the FMO Future of Finance Conference held at the TheaterHangaar in Katwijk.

According to RVD, the purpose of the three-day conference is for attendees to “…gain new insights and exchange knowledge and experiences in the field of inclusive finance in developing countries. More than 350 national and international bankers from more than 60 countries [will participate in] plenary sessions, roundtable discussions and workshops.”

During today’s event Her Majesty Queen Maxima received the book, Banking for a Better World, from the CEO of FMO, Mr. Nanno Kleiterp.

Please click here and here to view photos.

Photo courtesy of RVD/HKH

(VIDEOS) TMs King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands Attend the 2016 Prinsjesdag.

On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, Their Majesties King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands attended the 2016 Prinsjesdag held at the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights) in Den Haag.

Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day/Budget Day) is the opening of the new parliamentary year of the Staten-Generaal (Dutch Senate and House of Representatives). During today’s opening His Majesty delivered a speech highlighting the budget and policies of the Dutch government for the coming year (hence 2017).

After his speech, Their Majesties and Their Royal Highnesses Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands returned to Paleis Noordeinde where they waved to the crowd from the balcony.

Below is a rough translation of His Majesty King Willem Alexander’s speech from the throne:

“Members of the States General,

Netherlands has in recent years been under the feet again solid ground. The financial and economic crisis is behind us. We live in a prosperous and attractive country, also in comparison with other countries, and have good facilities, good infrastructure and a strong rule of law. We have a lot to be proud of and to build.

At the same time in the maelstrom of everyday anxiety and unease characteristics of the times. With everything that is going on worldwide, it is understandable that we worry as a society and will adhere closely to the familiar and well-known. The international threat of terrorism, instability on Europe’s external borders, the refugee issue and the economic uncertainties in the global market are indeed real problems with a major impact on daily life.

It is not the first time in the history of our country that we have to address threatening and unpredictable developments. It is also not the last time that we will find solutions together. The recently deceased former prime minister Piet de Jong, who almost art to elevate the sensible handling of turmoil and change, spoke in his time regularly on the need for “progress-resistant. He once said: “It is a duty of the government to look forward to what the future should be and as timely as possible to bring about modifications needed to seize the opportunities of the future.”

This cabinet period starts from the conviction that sound public finances and a strong economy are the foundation of a good and inclusive social system, good health care and good education and a high quality of other public services for future generations. For all major changes that have occurred, the objective of government policy remained unchanged: to ensure a future where progress, innovation and economic growth can continue along with protection, solidarity and look after each other – in the best traditions of our country.

Several years ago, these achievements were under pressure. The economy contracted, the budget deficit was nearly 4 percent and the number of people seeking employment peaked at 700,000, about 8 percent of our workforce. In addition, housing prices had fallen sharply, the cost of care year the AOW threatened to be priceless and rose on year faster than the national income.

That our country is now significantly better position than a few years ago and again participate in the leading group in Europe, is a collective achievement. Political differences were bridged and different social interests are united. Never before have so many great reforms were once put in motion, often with the support of opposition parties and civil society. That happened in health care and education, employment and housing, and in the state pension, energy and financial sectors. It is much sought after by everyone. Many brought financial sacrifices and there is a large demand for the willingness to accept changes in everyday life. Without perseverance, hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of the Dutch population was the result has been less positive.

For several years, the Dutch economy is stable again. The expected growth for 2017 despite the brexit, to 1.7 percent. The housing market is attracted and the cost of care are limited. The budget deficit drops to 0.5 percent next year and the national debt is falling rapidly towards 60 percent of our national income.

That comes back room to move. With fewer people, the mortgage underwater, making moving easier. Tenants get more financial space by increasing the rent allowance. Entrepreneurs who have confidence in the future, to invest more in workers and in the renewal of their business. And families get to spend more.

More and more people find work. After 2014 there were more than 225,000 jobs in our country when. Step by step, reducing unemployment to 5.8 percent. It is positive that more job seekers find jobs over 45 years. The number of young people work, is at the highest level in seven years. The agreements with employers on more jobs for people with occupational disabilities are energetically performed. The labor force is growing as more and more Dutch willing and able to actively participate in the labor market. This means that the number of unemployed is declining more slowly than hoped. Therefore, the approach to unemployment – especially long-term unemployment – remains a high priority.

With the social partners, the government has agreed a number of specific measures. Thus the rules for seasonal work to be relaxed and get unemployed people over 50 intensive support in finding work. The minimum wage over 21 years will be abolished in two steps, because young people deserve a full wage. Employers are receiving compensation to counteract negative effects on employment.

The risks and uncertainties for our open and internationally orientated economy are mainly from abroad. Lower growth in major emerging markets like China and Brazil have an impact on us. There are the announced brexit also new uncertainties in Europe, which directly affect the Netherlands. The UK is an important trading partner and the brexit cost jobs in our country. The aim of the government is that economic relations remain strong.

Cooperation is essential in Europe for the open Dutch economy. Netherlands continues to focus on the European Union’s growth and jobs. A stable euro, a strong and effective banking union and a strong and fair internal European market, with equal pay for equal work in the same place, directly in the interests of our country.

The positive financial and economic developments, slowly but definitely room for growth of incomes and for targeted investments in the future. It is gratifying that the purchasing power is growing again this year and next year for workers, the elderly and people on benefits. Thus, the Government is again a balanced spending power distribution. The care allowance goes up. With a boost of 200 million euros lowers the threshold for young parents to use childcare, making it easier to combine work and family. It is important that children at risk of growing up in poverty can participate in school trips may be a member of a sports club and the opportunity to go to music lessons. For this, 100 million euros. Proposed cuts in long-term elderly and disabled are deleted the size of half a billion euros. In schools, extra money available to promote equal opportunities. The allowance for specific school fees in secondary vocational education, such as clothing, tools and software, is going up.

Major investments are needed in energy, sustainability, accessibility and education. The SMEs should be able to get funding for new growth. The government to make proposals for such investments where needed better support.
Investing in the future also means addressing problems as they occur in the earthquake zone in the province of Groningen. The consequences are far-reaching and the government will work with all affected Groningen solutions. By halving the gas at strengthening compared to 2012 and houses and other buildings are security risks limited.

The effects of climate change require substantial investments and innovations in renewable energy sources such as wind, water and sunlight. Agreements on an affordable and clean energy are set out in the Energy Agreement. This development is not only good for the environment but also creates jobs and opportunities for Dutch businesses.

Because of the security situation, nearby and elsewhere in the world, the government in 2017 again draws extra money for the armed forces, the police, the judiciary and the Public Prosecutor. Since 2014, the defense budget increased stepwise, structurally rising to 870 million euros in 2020.

The crime rate in the Netherlands to decline steadily and the government continues to invest in improving safety. The budget for 2016 was for security though a structural amount of 250 million euros available. From 2017 there is a structural 450 million euros. This allows the people who again committed every day for our security get more space for the performance of their duties: the local policeman to special counterterrorism units from the prosecutor to the jailer.

In the year behind us, the world was again shaken by horrible jihadist attacks, which cause untold grief and human suffering. Including France, Belgium, Germany and Turkey were hit hard.

We can not and will not allow in any way that terrorists threaten our freedom, our security and our democratic values. The Action Programme Integrated Approach Jihadism has a mix of preventive and repressive measures. The government wants to eliminate the breeding ground for radicalization in the Netherlands, including by promoting active citizenship in schools. Exits will be difficult to put stop jihad goers and their benefits. They are prosecuted and risking revocation of Dutch citizenship after a conviction.

Cooperation in Europe in the fight against terrorism is crucial. Within the European Union, our country works intensively to improve the exchange of information between European intelligence and investigative services, joint border management, tackling financial flows and improving cyber security.

Outside Europe, the Netherlands military, humanitarian and political means to contribute to the fight against ISIS in hotbeds Syria and Iraq. Our soldiers and aid workers there and elsewhere in the world perform in difficult conditions, important work in the service of international stability and people in distress.

In close cooperation with the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom, the government has conducted successful campaign for temporary membership of the United Nations Security Council. Reform of the United Nations is an important issue for the government. In terms of content, the priority is an integrated approach to peace, security and development in conflict prevention and protection of civilians.

War and terror driving innocent people from their homes, facing an uncertain future. much put in motion during the Dutch Presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2016 to bring the flow of refugees from Syria and other vulnerable countries under control. That policy is based on three pillars: elimination of reasons to flee by improving living conditions and combating violence on the spot, reception in the region, and combating smuggling through perilous sea routes. Netherlands helps include 260 million euros for improving reception in the region.

In March 2016 the Turkish government agreed to stem the flow of refugees and better regulate. The number of people drowning in a horrible way to makeshift crossings between Turkey and Greece and the number of asylum seekers coming to Europe, is thus declined substantially. Continued implementation of these agreements demands in the coming period due attention.
The Netherlands is a country that everyone who qualifies for it, offers an opportunity to integrate into our society and everyone who lives here to feel at home. Asylum seekers who come to the Netherlands, is a decent but austere care provided. Last year, they succeeded thanks to the efforts of local authorities, aid agencies and many volunteers. Who wants to build a future in the Netherlands, must be willing to learn the language and to make an active contribution. We expect that everyone undertakes consciously and positively to our country and our way of life. The mandatory participation declaration enters into force in 2017. Participation and integration be more facilitated by the applicants the opportunity to volunteer.

It suits the character of the Netherlands to be taken all kinds of private initiatives in many districts and municipalities to involve applicants in society. At the same time it makes sense that society concerns as to the arrival of large groups of refugees. We wonder whether the differences in culture and values are not too big and facilities not too come under pressure.
In the Netherlands, long fought for a number of democratic values, including the separation of church and state, freedom of expression and freedom of religion. In our country men and women are equal before the law and we make no distinction as to race, creed or sexual orientation. Anyone who wants to live in our country, should respect these values and comply. No one is asked to deny their own origin or culture, but to constitutionally defined standards can not be questioned and against intimidation and violence crackdown.

Members of the States General,

The Netherlands is a strong country in an unstable world. In the last few years are collectively results have been achieved which make that we can look forward with confidence. It is not wise to underestimate the difficulties and uncertainties which the Netherlands international is facing. But history teaches us that “steady progress” is possible by working together for solutions, at home and with our international partners.

It also draws your work during the parliamentary year which begins today. You may not know they are supported by the knowledge that many are wishing you wisdom and join me in strength and God’s blessing pray for you.” 

Click here to view a photo gallery.

(VIDEO) His Majesty King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

On Monday, September 19, 2016, His Majesty King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in southwest Amsterdam.

During today’s festive celebrations His Majesty gave a speech.  Here is what he had to say (rough translation) :

“Ladies and gentlemen,

One hundred years of the Schiphol [Airport]. That’s the story of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.

In September 1916 began with a few wooden loodsjes in the swampy pasture farmer Knibbe.
And today we are here in the heart of one of the best major airports in Europe, what I say in the world. Just look around you.

Hundred year. That sounds very long. But if we connect with our own lives, then is it really that bad.

Of those hundred years, I have almost a third experienced consciously. I have a Schiphol since 1989. Probably longer than most of U. As a pilot I have known for nearly thirty years the airport. I’m still before the GPS.

I know Schiphol during the day, with tens of thousands of passengers and businesses. But I also know what it looks like at night when I was a pilot on one of the last flights out of Schengen long way to the exit discard Plaza.

At night you can see a different airport. The lighting is at 100 percent. It seems empty. But everywhere, people are engaged in supply, maintenance, cleaning and installation work. I have great respect for all those people out there 24 hours a day to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

In the time that I started flying, Schiphol had no quarter of the current number of passengers. And in many other respects, it did not seem at Schiphol today. The large tower, Concourse 3, Schiphol Plaza, the new runway, they were not there yet.

The flight preparations began cranking out reams of paper. I think: if the Schiphol then would be sunk into the waves, and would be dug up again after a hundred years by archaeologists, they would probably think they have a paper who also possessed aircraft had uncovered. A world of difference with the digital airport today! For several weeks, all printers permanently deleted at the crew center and mailboxes are soon past.

After the flight preparation towards the box, you went first to the weather along. As a meteorologist explained to you how it would be back on the route and at the destination. That you can not imagine now.

One hundred years Schiphol is a milestone for the Netherlands. Schiphol is all of us. It is very special and valuable what is built here. Schiphol, KLM and other airlines connect us to the world. More than 320 destinations are directly accessible. That gives us all a little extra freedom. Schiphol gives us wings.

A century Schiphol is also a century successful public-private partnership. We know the economic importance of Schiphol. One in seven jobs in the Netherlands is due to a foreign company operating here. Companies like to settle here. This is partly due to our good accessibility.

We know only too well that this is not a quiet property. The competition is not standing still. Some other hubs grow very fast. That requires vigilance, because if an airport loses its hub function that is irreversible. We fly along as it were, on the wings of the transfer passengers. When that transfer passengers dropped out, underpins the network disappears.

One hundred years Schiphol is therefore not only lead to nostalgic look back but also to look ahead. In the new A-Pier, the new Terminal 2 and the other innovations being worked hard.

Remains a good contact with the environment essential. Because it must remain viable and healthy for the local residents. In the early years had that social dialogue still somewhat primitive character. The first users of the airport were sometimes from the Ringdijk pelted with frozen cabbage stalks. A kind of primitive version of the polder model. But those times are over and today they come to see from abroad how the Netherlands addressing the airport development with the environment.

Here at the airport are very common interests and experiences together. Interests of travelers and local residents. Hundreds of different companies and tens of thousands of employees. Environmental interests and security interests. International, national, regional and local interests.

Beliefs sometimes compete with each other and sometimes disparate. The strength of Schiphol lies perhaps in the ability again and again to build bridges between diverse interests and to think together solutions that make progress possible. It’s that ability Schiphol which could develop from tubers field to world-class airport.
That ability we will continue to desperately need in the coming years, Schiphol now stands on the threshold of its second centennial.

I hope it still be able to make a good deal very closely with. Flying remains one of the most beautiful experiences, as a passenger, a guest from the airport and as a guest kite at our blue pride!

I wish all the employees of Schiphol, and anyone who feels connected to the airport, very lucky with this centenary. And for the future I wish Schiphol: a good flight.” 

Click here to view a photo gallery. 

HM Queen Maxima of the Netherlands Attends the 10th Edition of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.

maximaOn Wednesday, September 14, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attended the finals of the 10th Edition of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge held at the Gashouder in Amsterdam.

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is the largest annual and international green business plan competition. The winner receives €500,000 to help bring her or his plan to market. The runner-up will receive €200,000.

Click here to view photos. 

Photo courtesy of RVD/HKH

Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands Visits the Explosieven Opruimingsdienst Defensie.

pssmaxima2011On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 13, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands visited the Explosieven Opruimingsdienst Defensie (EOD) in Soesterberg, Netherlands.

According to RVD, during today’s visit Her Majesty “…spoke with EOD’er in training and an instructor. They  got to see what equipment the EOD used in making harmless and detonation of explosives…” 

Click here to view photos. 

Photo courtesy of RVD/HKH

Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands Visits a Class at the ROC van Amsterdam – MBO College Amstelland.


On Tuesday, September 13, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands accompanied by the CEO of the Dutch Association of Insurers, Mr. Richard Weurding, visited two Money/Ways classes, as part of European Money Week, at the ROC van Amsterdam-MBO College Amstelland in Amstelveen. European Money Week is a joint initiative by European banking associations that aims to raise public awareness on financial literacy and improving financial education for students from elementary and secondary schools.

During today’s visit to the classes Her Majesty and Mr. Weurding participated in a roundtable discussion which focused on the “…relationship between debt and school and the benefits of financial education…” according to RVD

Please click here and here to view photos.

Photo courtesy of RVD/HKH

His Majesty King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands Opens a New Museum in Wassenaar.

waOn Saturday, September 10, 2016, His Majesty King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands along with Her Royal Highness Princess Irene of the Netherlands opened the new Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar.   Founded by Mr. Joop van Caldenborgh the private museum displays modern and contemporary art at the Estate Voorlinden.

According to RVD, the Museum Voorlinden overlooks a “…garden and the natural environment. It is the first time that the private collection, gathered worldwide over a period of 50 years, in this form is shown to a wider audience.  Museum Voorlinden will accommodate some permanent works, including ‘Skyspace’ by artist James Turrell.”

During today’s opening His Majesty King Willem Alexander and Princess Irene viewed the exhibition entitled, Full Moon.  The exhibition consists of more than 40 works of art from “…different periods and provides an introduction to the extremes of the collection with work by other Dutch artists such as Rineke Dijkstra and Jan Sluyters and international artists such as Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.” 

Museum Voorlinden will open to the public on Sunday, September 11, 2016.

Click here to view photos. 

Photo courtesy of RVD/HKH

(VIDEOS) Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands Visits the Province of Zeeland.

On Friday, September 9, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands visited the province of Zeeland in the south-west region of the Netherlands.

According to RVD, today’s visit focused on:

“…innovations in the aquaculture industry in Zeeland.  [The region’s] entrepreneurs, municipalities and school students show highlights Zeeland has in saline cultivation, mussel innovation, education and cultivation of fish on land.

[The day began with a tour of] Delta Farms in Colijnsplaat. The sawyers – or sea centipedes – exported as a protein-rich food for shrimp. In addition, research into applications in the pharmaceutical industry, where sawyers can be used for storing and transporting organs for transplantation.

[The day ended with a] visit to the Pontes Pieter Zeeman College in Zierikzee, where scholars and guest lecturers from the Academy Saline Zealand (ZAZ).  [Whilst there Her Majesty] spoke with representatives of the fish and shellfish farms, Seafarm and Grovisco, about how they preserve their cultural methods with innovative techniques and research and promote animal welfare.” 

To view photos from today’s visit to the province of Zeeland please click here.

HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands Opens the Margaretha Residence in Kampen.

dutchOn Friday, September 2, 2016, Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands opened the Margaretha Residence in Kampen, Netherlands.

According to photo news agency, PPE, the new Margaretha Residence comprises of “…120 apartments with a mixed group of partly independently and partly people who need care.”

Click here to view photos. 

Photo courtesy of RVD/HKH

(VIDEOS) Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands Meets with the President of Indonesia.

On the morning of Thursday, September 1, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, in her capacity as the United Nations Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance and Development, met with the President of Indonesia, Mr. Joko Widodo, at the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia.

And, finally, in the second video the great folks at Royalty Magazine provide a summary of Her Majesty’s visit to lovely Indonesia.