Willem-Alexander & Máxima Conclude NY400 Visit
TRH the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima have concluded their week-long visit to New York City, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage aboard the Half Moon which discovered the city.
After their incredibly busy Tuesday and Wednesday schedules, Thursday was a relatively quiet day for the royal couple. The pair had seperate meetings on water management and micro-finance, the Prince and Princess’ pet areas respectively, at the United Nations Headquarters. Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima then visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they were shown around the Johannes Vermeer exhibition – Vermeer’s Masterpiece The Milkmaid – by the Met’s curator Walter Liedtke.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has loaned the Met Vermeer’s most famous painting, The Milkmaid, to be apart of the exhibition, while there are also a further five Vermeer pieces on show. Liedtke said that the Prince and Princess showed particular interest in the Vermeer paintings, before they moved on to the New York Stock Exchange, where they were treated to a dinner. At the Stock Exchange, the Prince and Princess were briefed on the economic crisis.
Friday, September 11th, began as a solemn day on the royal couple’s program.
Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima were in attendance at a memorial service in Zuccotti Park for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The service was also attended by the US Vice President, Joe Biden, and New York City’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Two minutes of silence were observed, at 08:46 and 09:03, the times which two passenger jets flew into the World Trade Centre buildings on that fateful day in 2001. From Zuccotti Park, TRH headed to the West End Collegiate Church for a remembrance service. The Dutch Foreign Minister, Maxime Verhagen, was also in attendance.
From there, the Prince and Princess flew to the US capital, Washington D.C., to meet with First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. During the thirty-minute meeting, TRH drank tea and spoke with the First Lady and her Chief of Staff, Susan Sher, before the President himself ‘coincidentally’ dropped in. President Obama thanked the Prince of Orange for the Dutch military support in Afghanistan, and jokingly asked the Prince, a member of the IOC, if he would support Chicago’s 2016 Olympic Games bid.
Travelling back to New York, the day ended on a happier note, with the presentation of the Four Freedom Awards at the grand Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima were in attendance as Hillary Rodham Clinton, the US Secretary of State, was awarded the Freedom Medal for her lifetime commitment to four freedoms which make up the awards: speech, religion, want and fear. The four freedom-specific awards were presented to Eboo Patel (Freedom of Religion), Vicky Escarra (Freedom of Want), Anthony Romero (Freedom of Speech/Expression) and Pasquale D’Amuro (Freedom of Fear).
By brunch on Saturday the 12th, the Prince and Princess had already participated in a round-table conversation between American and Dutch workers, who had swapped jobs for a week as part of Job Swap. From there, the pair headed off to open the South Street Seaport Museum’s commemorative exhibition “New Amsterdam: Island at the Centre of the World”. The exhibition features historical documents and images, the centrepiece being the Schaghen Letter. Written in November 1626, the letter is the oldest document which provides proof of the Dutch purchase of Manhattan for 60 guilders.
After the museum opening, the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima travelled to Governor’s Island, where they participated in the New Island Festival. At the festival, the royal couple listened to various Dutch artists and viewed the Pioneer of Change show, featuring specially furnished colonial homes. The highlight of the festival would have been TRH joining Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren on stage. Princess Máxima even got the chance to DJ herself, fully getting into the event with the crowd.
The only white-tie gala of the trip was held Saturday night, aboard the HMS Tromp. Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima cut a striking figure in a black and white military uniform and a cream strapless evening gown (respectively, of course). The gala was held to thank the US hosts and sponsors for their contributions and support for the NY400 week. The Prince and Princess kicked off the dancing at 20:00, waltzing to the tune of the Marine Band.
Sunday September 13th was the final day of the royal visit,and at 09:30 TRH arrived in style – one the official orange NYC400 bicycles to Battery Park. Here, they visited the Groene Vecht vessel, and sailed to the HMS Tromp, where they reviewed the fleet from the vessel’s bridge as they passed what is one of the most famous landscapes in the world: the Statue of Liberty. At lunchtime, the pair returned to Battery Park and walked to the Bowling Green in New Amsterdam Village, their final destination of the trip.
Click here to view the official visit thread.Filed under The Netherlands
Tagged 9/11, Exhibition, Four Freedom Awards, Hillary Rodham Clinton, King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands, Memorial, Michelle Obama, Microfinance, Museum, Official Visit, President Obama of the United States, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, United Nations, United States of America, Water.