Dutch King and Queen Begin State Visit to Greece
At the invitation of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima started today, Monday October 31, a three-day state visit to Greece.
Arrived yesterday evening at the airport of the capital Athens, the Royal Couple began the state visit this morning by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Syntagma Square.
Then the King and the Queen moved to the Presidential Palace where they were officially welcomed by Katerina Sakellaropoulou, President of the Hellenic Republic and her husband, Pavlos Kotsonis.
In the courtyard of the Palace took place the review the presidental guard and the nathional anthems were played.
Prior to the private meeting, took place the exchange of decorations: President Sakellaropoulou received the Knight’s Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands while the King and the Queen received the Grand Cross of the Order of the Savior.
Afterwards the Royal Couple paid a visit to the Netherlands Institute in Athens, “an interuniversity, academic institute, that coordinates, stimulates and facilitates educational and research programs in cooperation with universities and research centres in the Netherlands and Greece”. At the institute they met with the Greek and Dutch ombudsmen to talk about human rights of citizens and migrants.
In the afternoon the King and the Queen visited the Acropolis accompanied by the Greek Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni and the archaeologist Elena Kontouri.
Later the Royal Couple was received by the Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis and then took place a reception held at the cultural center Technopolis with the Dutch community living in Greece.
The first day ended with a state banquet hosted by President Sakellaropoulou and her husband at the Presidential Palace.
In his speech King Willem-Alexander expressed his pleasure “to pay a state visit to the Hellenic Republic” considering that the state visit was postponed to times. The King also praised the Greece for “the courage and strength to recreate itself” following the years of “the credit crisis” and added that Greece, for the Netherlands, “is a source of inspiration to work on innovations together with you”.
Tagged Greece, King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, State Visit.