Home Royal News First solo visit for Kate – meeting Dutch King & viewing Royal Collection Art

First solo visit for Kate – meeting Dutch King & viewing Royal Collection Art

by Victoria Howard

The Duchess of Cambridge undertook her first solo visit overseas today, travelling to the Netherlands and meeting the Dutch King, Willem-Alexander.

Beginning at Villa Eikenhorst, the mansion a short distance from The Hague where Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima live with their three daughters, Kate paid a courtesy call to the Dutch Monarch. Following protocol, the Duchess curtseyed to her senior, The King who took over from his mother, Queen Beatrix, when she abdicated in 2013.

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands at Villa Eikenhorst today. Picture by POOL / i-Images

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands at Villa Eikenhorst today. Picture by POOL / i-Images

Catherine also had lunch with Willem-Alexander.

Her first solo trip abroad was scheduled to Malta for two days in 2014, but the Duchess’ severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) prevented her from going; her husband took her place.

It was then to the capital’s Mauritshuis art gallery for Kate, to promote an exhibition of Dutch paintings from The Royal Collection. The Queen holds the collection in trust for the nation, which includes over million pieces.

22 of these are to be displayed at the museum for a special exhibition: ‘At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his Contemporaries from the British Royal Collection’. It will showcase some of the finest 17th-century genre paintings by Dutch artists, including Vermeer and Rembrandt, alongside a permanent collection of Dutch pieces.

The Duchess of Cambridge studied History of Art at university, so the visit would have been of personal interest to Catherine. She was seen studying Vermeer’s famous ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’, and ‘The Goldfinch’ by Carel Fabritius, amongst others.

A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said: “The reason for the visit is that the Royal Collection loaned the works and, as a result, an invitation was extended to the Duchess, a former history of art student, to come over to the Mauritshuis.”

To finish up the day, Kate stopped off at a community project and a mental health conference in Rotterdam. The Duchess chaired a Learning Exchange Seminar. Experts from the renowned Trimbos Institute, and representatives from Action on Addiction and Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families – which the Duchess supports – were present.

Yesterday, she and Prince William and Prince Harry marked World Mental Health Day with a trip on the London Eye.

Meanwhile, The Duke of Cambridge was handing out honours, including to Rod Stewart who received his knighthood.

 

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