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Dutch Royal visit marks long history

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/11/2016


* Willem-Alexander and Maxima of the Netherlands visit Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland while in New Zealand until Wednesday.

* Willem-Alexander has been king since April 2013 and is the first male monarch of the Netherlands since the death of his great-great-grandfather William III in 1890.

* The Argentinan-born Maxima and Willem-Alexander met at the Seville Spring Fair in 1999, but Maxima did not know he was a prince or heir to the Dutch throne until later.

* Her father Jorge Zorreguieta was a cabinet minister during the Argentinian dictatorship and did not attend the wedding.

* Willem-Alexander and Maxima have three children - Princess Catharina-Amalia, 12, Princess Alexia, 11, and Princess Ariane, 9.

* The Dutch connection to New Zealand stretches back to 1642 when Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand.

* About 150,000 Kiwis have Dutch roots.

* Queen Beatrix visited New Zealand in 1992.

* The Dutch say New Zealand and the Netherlands are deeply connected, not only because in history, but also because of their similar values, viewpoints and economies. They face many of the same challenges.

* A trade mission of 60 companies will be in New Zealand with the royals.

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