Dutch king and queen visit Áras an Uachtaráin as part of State visit to Ireland

The three-day visit will include a meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

President Michael D Higgins met with the Dutch King and Queen at Áras an Uachtaráin on Wednesday.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands were greeted by President Higgins and his wife Sabina shortly after 11am for their first State visit to Ireland during their six-year reign.

A 21-gun salute was fired outside the Áras while the national anthems of both countries were played. The Dutch King and Queen signed the visitor's book and met with the Minister for Communications Richard Bruton, the Ambassador of Ireland to the Netherlands Kevin Kelly as well as a delegation of Irish and Dutch Government representatives. The couple planted an alder tree in the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin afterwards.

The three-day visit takes place against the backdrop of intensive moves to forge closer relations between the State and the Netherlands post-Brexit.


King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima travelled to the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square afterwards, where they laid a wreath and a minute of silence was observed.

The couple was due to visit the CHQ Building later on Wednesday and a State banquet will be held in Áras an Uachtaráin on Wednesday evening.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will meet the new Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe at the Mansion House on Thursday before visiting The Long Room in Trinity College.

Later, the royals will host a reception in the Kings Inns, in the north inner city, for Dutch expats living in Ireland .

King Willem-Alexander will then meet the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and will be present the signing of a double-taxation treaty between the two Governments, focused on tackling tax avoidance and on avoiding double taxation of income and capital gains tax.

The royals will also attend a function on the second day in the National Botanical Gardens, before hosting a Dutch national dance theatre performance in the Bord Gáis Energy theatre.

The third day of the visit will take place in Cork, where King Willem-Alexander and his wife will meet the city's lord mayor at city hall. The royals will then take a boat to Cobh. They will also visit Crosshaven in West Cork to discuss volunteer initiatives, with the trip incorporating a visit Camden Fort Meagher.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times