Dutch Royal couple to visit Grand Rapids during 1st trip to U.S
The official visit marks the first time the royal couple will travel to the United States as king and queen. King Willem-Alexander succeeded his mother, Queen Beatrix, to become King of the Netherlands in 2013. The royal couple also will meet President Obama in Washington, D.C., and travel to Chicago during the June 1-3 visit.
“We are honored and excited to be able to welcome his Majesty King Willem-Alexander and her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands to West Michigan”,- said Paule Heule, honorary Dutch Consul for West Michigan.
“West Michigan was chosen not only because of our strong Dutch heritage but because of our ongoing business and cultural ties,- said Heule. -We are emphasizing to the people of the Netherlands not only our rich heritage but also the great human and economic resources West Michigan has to offer to strengthen the global ties between our two countries”.
Heule, who met with Rudolf Bekink, the Dutch ambassador to the U.S., on Tuesday morning, said the royal couple’s visit to Grand Rapids will include a tree planting at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. The royal couple will also be accompanied by a delegation representing 50 Netherlands businesses, Heule added.
The King and Queen will celebrate strong economic, cultural and political ties between their country and the United States that date back 400 years. The Netherlands is one of the top five foreign investors in the United States and is the No. 1 destination for American foreign investments.
The Dutch and U.S. economic relationship also supports 685,000 American jobs, according to Rudolf Bekink, Dutch ambassador to the US.
“It’s my pleasure to welcome the Royal Couple on their first visit to the U.S. as King and Queen,- Bekink said. -Their visit underscores the strong friendship between our two countries”.
The announcement made by the Royal Household on Tuesday afternoon set off a wave of excitement, especially among those with Dutch heritage. Entrepreneur J.C. Huizenga said he was looking forward to meeting the king and queen. He is on the Orange Committee, a group headed by Heule, that is working to coordinate details of the royal visit.