King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima today arrived in Berlin to begin their first visit to Germany. The royal pair were greeted by Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin at the beginning of their two-day visit. The visits to both Hesse and Baden-Württemberg had been planned ahead of Queen Beatrix's abdication. However, the itinerary was extended to include a first official visit to Berlin as head of state for Willem-Alexander. In both states, the royal pair were to meet German and Dutch entrepreneurs.
|King Willem-Alexander, Queen Ma1xima and Angela Merkel.|
On Tuesday, the couple - and a delegation representing Dutch business - will continue on to Baden-Württemberg. Like in Hesse, the royal couple could walk on the footsteps of their ancestors: Princess Sophie, daughter of King Wilhelm I of Württemberg, married Dutch King Willem III in 1839 and became Queen of the Netherlands. Unfortunately all three sons born to the royal couple died before they could succeed their father as King of the Netherlands. After Queen Sophie's premature death in 1877, King Willem III married Princess Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, a small German principality and today also part of the state of Hesse, on 7th January 1879. She was 41 years the King's junior. In 1880, Princess Wilhelmina was born. She became heiress presumptive in 1884 after the death of the last remaining son from William's first marriage. Many potential male heirs had died between 1878 and 1884. Because Queen Wilhelmina had not yet reached adulthood, Dowager Queen Emma became regent for her daughter. She would remain regent until Queen Wilhelmina's eighteenth birthday in 1898. Queen Wilhelmina reigned until 1948 and is King Willem-Alexander's great grandmother.
The schedule for the visit to the Hesse state capital of Wiesbaden included a reception with state premier Volker Bouffier, who faces an election this September and certainly appreciates a little bit of royal glamour. Also on the itinerary was a visit to a memorial to William the Silent, the founding father of the Dutch royal family who had strong links with Hesse.
A visit to the Opel car factory at Rüsselsheim is planned for Tuesday, along with engagements near Stuttgart at machinery and laser firm Trumpf and the University of Hohenheim.