23 October 2018

Dutch State Visit to Britain: Welcome Ceremonies

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The visitors have officially arrived! Today marks the start of the first Dutch state visit to the United Kingdom since 1982, and King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were welcomed to Britain with all the usual pomp and circumstance.




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The day began at the Dutch Ambassador's Residence in London, where the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall greeted the royal couple and escorted them to the official welcome ceremony.


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The occasion gave us a view of Camilla's very formal curtsey to Queen Maxima. Although Charles and Camilla are senior to the Dutch royals in terms of age, they still rank below them, hence the deferential greeting.


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The two couples took a moment to pose in front of portraits of King William III and Queen Mary II, Britain's monarchs from the House of Orange. William and Mary were the first owners of the fabulous Stuart Diamond, which I'm hoping comes out to play later this evening!


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After the official welcome by Charles and Camilla, the four royals traveled to Horse Guards Parade, where Queen Elizabeth II was waiting with representatives of the military and the government.


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Both King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima greeted Queen Elizabeth II warmly, something which required a little maneuvering on the part of the tall Dutch royals.


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The royals watched a ceremonial welcome presentation before King Willem-Alexander and Prince Charles reviewed the troops.


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And then a carriage procession ferried the royals to Buckingham Palace, where Wax 'n Max will be staying during their two-day visit.


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All three of the royal ladies brought along substantial jewels for the start of the state visit. Queen Elizabeth II highlighted the vivid purple color of her outfit by wearing one of her amethyst floral brooches with her usual daytime pearls.


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Here's another look at the brooch, which is one of a pair of nearly identical floral brooches.


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Queen Maxima wore pieces from her collection of jewels set with pink gems, coordinating with her head-to-toe blush pink ensemble.


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Her jewelry for the morning events includes modern earrings and a classic brooch with a pendant drop.


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We also got a glimpse of the ring that matches the brooch, plus her double floral bangle.


Queen Maxima wears the jewels in 2013 (Bart Maat - Pool/Getty Images)

We recently saw Maxima wear the earrings, brooch, and ring during the Willemsorde ceremony. (We've got jewelry close-ups in our post from that event!) But the brooch, bracelet, and ring have even more significance. Maxima wore the three pieces with a different pair of earrings in 2013 during her mother-in-law's abdication ceremony -- the moment that made her Queen of the Netherlands.


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Camilla reached for familiar pieces for the morning's events, wearing her pearl choker necklace with the round diamond clasp and her usual pearl drop earrings. She sensibly decided not to wear a brooch, which would have distracted from the beautiful embroidery on her coat.


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After the official welcome was finished, the royals had lunch at Buckingham Palace and then viewed a selection of historical items from the Royal Collection. Now, we wait for the glitter of tonight's state banquet!