On 28 May 2013 King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands visited the Dutch provinces Groningen and Drenthe. In the next weeks they will also visit the other ten provinces of the Netherlands, each time two in one day. It is a tradition that a new King and Queen visit the Dutch provinces. A visit to the Caribean part of the country will follow in November.
For a change the weather on 28 May was really gorgeous. Lots of sun and jackets were not necessary, apart from the early morning. And early it was. The visit to the province Groningen started in the city of Groningen already at 9am. In one hour the couple visited the province house, walked through the city centre and had a look at all the activities organised: circus, music, the future, art and health. And at the “Goudkantoor” there was even a “living room” where the royal couple took their time to drink coffee with a few people. At the end of their visit they appeared on the balcony of the town hall of Groningen, signed the golden visitor’s book and waved to the crowds.
The visit continued in Leek, where the activities were organised at the Nienoord estate. In a carriage they drove to the small castle, accompanied by showband Concordia. Outside the castle they met with people and had a look of some of the carriages from the castle museum. In the garden the nicest villages of Groningen were presented and there was a local market. The football match between Kids United and the Leekster Eagles was followed by music. At the end of the visit Nienoord presented its amusement park with a little steam-train, mascot Nieno and a clown. More than fifteen minutes late they went into the bus to Havezate Mensinge in Roden, where they talked with fifty inhabitants of the province Groningen and fifty inhabitants of the province Drenthe.
Somewhat late the royal couple arrived at the village of Dwingeloo, in the province of Drenthe for a visit of one hour. All activities were concentrated on the “Brink”, the central place of the village. Lots of music, and twelve Drenthse municipalities presented their dreams for the future. The theatrical company EPOI presented the dream of the municipalities Noordenveld and Westerveld. Even the royal couple had a role in the play, and were happy to do so. They had to take their place in a “bed”, dreaming about their wonderful visit to Dwingeloo. At the end of the visit they watched a performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in no more than three minutes.
The royal couple paid a short visit to Beilen, where they enjoyed a few performances and presentations. They were present when cyclist Fleur Nagengast revealed a new water monument. The royal visit ended in the capital of Drenthe, Assen. Motorcycles accompanied the royal bus to Assen. In Assen itself children on minibikes and young drummers accompanied the couple through town. The couple also heard a song sung by Daniël Lohues. In the Drents Museum they met with the provincial governing body. Back outside the royal couple finished their walk back to their car and listened to more music, including a song about Queen Máxima. At 5.15pm the visit finally came to an end.