Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Dutch King and Queen in Oslo

Today the new King and Queen of the Netherlands will pay a brief visit to Oslo. This is one of the one-day so-called introductory visits King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima are undertaking after their accession on 30 April. These visits are a new invention and are not state visits, but courtesy calls. Similar visits have already been made to other European heads of state, including the Queens of Denmark and Britain.
The King and Queen will hold a lunch at the Royal Palace in honour of the Dutch guests, which will also be attended by the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and by Princess Astrid. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will also meet outgoing Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and go to the Parliament Building to call on the Speaker of Parliament, Dag Terje Andersen (as the new Parliament convened yesterday but has not yet been constituted or opened the Speaker of the previous Parliament is still carrying out the duties of his office).


  1. Please keep in mind Queen Maxima is not "Queen of the Netherlands" as that title is reserved to sovereign queens only and not to consorts. Maxima's official titles are "Princess of the Netherland" and "Princess of Orange-Nassau". She is addressed as "HM Queen Maxima" as a matter of courtesy. Please see also the following explanation from the Dutch Royal House website:

    Koningin Máxima

    Sinds de troonsbestijging van haar echtgenoot, Koning Willem-Alexander wordt Máxima aangeduid als Koningin Máxima. Zij behoudt ook de persoonlijke titels 'Prinses der Nederlanden, Prinses van Oranje-Nassau'.

    1. No, Queen Máxima is Queen of the Netherlands just as much as Queen Sonja is Queen of Norway - you cannot be Queen of nothing and Máxima is surely not Queen of Spain or Denmark.

      Máxima's titles are not only "Princess of the Netherlands and Princess of Orange-Nassau", as you claim the website says, but according to the same website "Her Majesty Queen Máxima, Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau". (

      The titles Princess of the Netherlands and Princess of Orange-Nassau were given to her at the time of her marriage and remain hers for life. However, when her husband succeeded to the throne, she became Queen in the same way as Sofía became Queen when Juan Carlos became King.

      In the Netherlands she is referred to as "Her Majesty the Queen" in the same way as Sonja is referred to as "Her Majesty the Queen" in Norway and Elizabeth II as "Her Majesty the Queen" in Britain. The Norwegians do not refer to Sonja as "the Queen of Norway" or the Brits to Elizabeth as "the Queen of Britain", but that is how they are referred to abroad.

    2. I see no contradiction between the information kindly provided by Mabruno and Trond, respectively. One may accurately describe Máxima as the queen of the Netherlands; nevertheless, the official website (linked to in Trond's comment) draws a distinction between her titles and those of her husband: The king is "His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, [b] King of the Netherlands[/b], Prince of Orange-Nassau, etc., etc., etc. " whereas the queen's is "Her Majesty Queen Máxima, [b]Princess of the Netherlands,[/b] Princess of Orange-Nassau" (emphasis mine).

    3. I fail to see that this difference as it appears on the website is due to anything but a lack of coordination. Indeed the same paragraph explicitly states that "Her official title, like that of the wives of Kings Willem I, Willem II and Willem III, will be Her Majesty Queen Máxima, Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau". And Wilhelmina of Prussia, Anna Pavlovna of Russia, Sophie of Württemberg and Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont were certainly queens of the Netherlands and not just queens of nothing.

    4. Yes, but the husbands of the previous queens acceded prior to the 2002 Act of Parliament which resulted in initial doubts that Máxima would be styled as Queen.

      The same information appears in the media factsheet prepared for the abdication, and the Dutch contributors on various royalty discussion boards did not believe it to be erroneous. However, I have not personally studied the matter, so I shall leave it at that. :)

    5. Yes, but despite the 2002 Act and the doubts raised by it the website says explicitly that Queen Máxima holds the same title as the wives of Willem I, Willem II and Willem III and (from memory) I believe the Prime Minister also referred to the precendence when making it clear that Máxima would be Queen. If she is merely "Queen" and not "Queen of the Netherlands" that is a new invention - and would, I believe, make her the first queen in history to be queen of nothing, which is also impossible abroad as you cannot expect the rest of the world to recognise her as Queen Máxima without a territorial designation.


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