King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of The Netherlands’ much awaited State Visit to the United Kingdom is just two days away, and we are taking look at some of the previous Dutch State Visits to Britain, starting with Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard’s State Visit in the November of 1950.
Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard also made a State Visit to the United Kingdom in 1972, after a Return Visit by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in 1958!
After a rough overnight crossing on the Channel, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard were welcomed by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, as well as Princess Elisabeth, Princess Margaret, Princess Mary, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, at the Victoria Station in London, before embarking on a ceremonial procession through the streets of London, watched by little Prince Charles from the balcony of Clarence House, to Buckingham Palace. The King invested his guests with the Royal Victorian Chain and the Royal Victorian Order respectively, while Queen Juliana gave the Order of the Netherlands Lion to Queen Elizabeth and then Princess Elizabeth and the gave the Order of the House of Orange to the Duke of Gloucester. The evening, the King and Queen hosted a State Banquet in honour of their Dutch Guests, which sadly was not pictured (as was usual until the late 1960s), but we know from descriptions that Queen Juliana wore the Stuart Tiara.
Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard also visited the Guildhall for an address by the Lord Mayor of London, which was followed by a Luncheon. That evening, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth hosted a Ball at Buckingham Palace, for which Queen Juliana was described wearing the Dutch Sapphire Tiara.
On the final evening, Queen Juliana (wearing the Württemberg Ornate Pearl Tiara) and Prince Bernhard hosted a Return banquet at Claridge’s Hotel for members of theBritish Royal Family, including King George VI (wearing the Military William Order), Queen Elizabeth (in the Greville Tiara and the Order of the Netherlands Lion), Princess Elizabeth (wearing the Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara and the Order of the Netherlands Lion), Princess Margaret (in Queen Mary’s Diamond Lozange Bandeau and the Order of the Netherlands Lion), Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood (wearing her Fringe Tiara), and the Duchess of Northumberland (in the Northumberland Strawberry Leaf Coronet). 4000 Dutch ‘Happiness’ Roses had been transported from The Netherlands, along with Porcelain, Silver and China from the Dutch Royal Collection. Afterwards, the Royal Group attended a reception hosted by the British Government at the Middle Temple Hall in London.