The Dutch monarchy showed they’re possibly the most self-sufficient of the European royals – with King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands flying himself and his wife Queen Maxima to Stockholm this morning ahead of a three-day state visit to the Scandinavian country.
Touching down at Sweden’s Arlanda airport just outside the capital in bright sunshine, King Willem-Alexander quickly moved from pilot to monarch, donning a smart suit jacket and taking the plane steps with Maxima, who looked elegant in an ankle-length camel coat, and a stylish nude dress with matching hat and suede heels.
The couple were greeted by their Swedish counterparts on the tarmac, with Crown Princess Victoria, who wore a striking purple dress with matching jacket and shoes, and Prince Daniel of Sweden offering a warm hug ahead of the journey to Stockholm’s Royal Palace.
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Good neighbors! King Willem-Alexander, third from left, and Queen Maxima, third from right, of The Netherlands pose for a photo with Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, far left, Princess Estelle of Sweden, center, and Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden, far right, on the first morning of their three-day state visit
Welcome! King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands took the short flight to Stockholm this morning ahead of an official three-day state visit to the Scandinavian country
The Dutch King co-piloted the government plane to Stockholm’s Arlanda airport for the short flight north to the Scandinavian country
Slipping on a suit jacket, the Dutch King stepped back into monarch mode, and looked delighted to see the Swedish royals awaiting them, as Queen Maxima also offered a smile to her fellow European royals
Bond: The Dutch royals and the Swedish royals embrace ahead of the three-day visit, which is designed to cement already strong relations between the two European royal houses
Good neighbors: At the airport, the couple were warmly welcomed by Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden, with the European royals offering hugs
Later, the Dutch royals enjoyed a horse carriage procession to the Royal Palace in Stockholm, where they were greeted by Sweden’s Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf (Pictured left to right: Swedish Prince Daniel, Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria, Queen Silvia of Sweden, Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands)
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, right, walk side-by-side during a welcome ceremony at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on Tuesday
Well-wishers waving Dutch flags lined the streets close to the Royal Palace in Stockholm this morning, with Queen Maxima, showing off her stylish nude dress coat with matching clutch, gloves and heels, as Queen Silvia of Sweden, elegant in green, walked closely behind her
The embrace between couples clearly showed the already strong bond between the two European royal houses.
Upon landing, the Dutch King was spotted at the controls of the aircraft, alongside a co-pilot, as the Government jet touched down in the Swedish capital on Tuesday morning.
King Willem-Alexander has form when it comes to piloting planes; the monarch surprised passengers on a KLM flight in 2018 and today he was clearly keen to show off his skills once more.
The Dutch royals then enjoyed a horse carriage procession to the Royal Palace, where they were greeted by Sweden’s Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf.
Well-wishers waving Dutch flags lined the city streets, with Queen Maxima and Queen Silvia of Sweden, elegant in green, chatting to those gathered.
An official welcome ceremony followed at the palace, with Willem-Alexander and Maxima inspecting a guard of honor. The two families then posed for photos, joined by Princess Estelle, the ten-year-old daughter of Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.
King Carl XVI Gustaf said in a statement: ‘We are honored to receive the King and Queen. ‘Our countries are very similar. For example, in our positions on the rule of law, international relations and human rights. We are going to strengthen ties in defense and security.’
Smooth landing: The Dutch monarch is pictured in the cockpit of the plane as it arrives in Sweden, with the country’s orange and blue royal flag attached to the window
Queen Maxima, looking elegant in an ankle-length camel coat, a beautiful nude dress with matching hat and suede heels offers a kiss to Prince Daniel of Sweden at Arlanda airport
Speaking at the Royal Palace, King Willem-Alexander said ‘Queen Máxima and I are very much looking forward to the visit in the coming days.’
The warmth was reciprocated by the Dutch monarch, Willem-Alexander, who reflected on a strong relationship between the two countries, saying: ‘We realize that Sweden is going through a special time, such as its membership in NATO, which we fully support. Queen Máxima and I are very much looking forward to the visit in the coming days.’
This afternoon, the Dutch couple will spend time with Swedish politicians, and also visit the Vasa Museum in the city, which exhibits the country’s naval history.
It’s thought the royals will return the ship’s bell of a Swedish ship, Prinsessan Sophia Albertina, which was lost off the Dutch coast in the 18th century.