Dutch royal couple come to Austria for a state visit

Incidentally, royal visits are by no means part of everyday business in Styria. There was a lot of excitement around the visit of the British Queen Elizabeth II in 1969. At that time, together with Prince Consort Philip and daughter Anne, she also inspected the Lipizzaner stud farm in Piber as well as Graz. In 2005, the then Belgian King Albert II was a guest in Graz.

Around three months later, in September 2005, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, a cousin of the Queen, followed from the British royal family. In 2017, Chulabhorn Mahidol, Princess of the Kingdom of Thailand and youngest sister of King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X.), visited the Styrian capital, according to the APA request from the city of Graz.

Good relations with Austria

The visit of the monarch couple takes place in the form of a state visit, which is the highest priority in diplomatic protocol. A head of state travels to a foreign country in his official capacity. In its full form, a state visit lasts at least three days, visiting not only the capital but also at least one other location.

Willem-Alexander is the eldest of Queen Beatrix’s three sons and has been King of the Netherlands since his mother’s abdication on 30 April 2013. The royal couple has three daughters: Crown Princess Amalia (18), who came of age last December, and Princesses Alexia (17) and Ariane (15).

The Dutch royal family has traditionally had close ties to Austria and has been spending their annual skiing holiday in Lech am Arlberg (Vorarlberg) since 1959. This is also where one of the most serious strokes of fate of the royal family happened in recent times: Willem-Alexander’s brother Prince Friso was buried by an avalanche in February 2012 while skiing in unsecured terrain. He died in 2013 at the age of 44 as a result of the accident.

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