You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Dutch royals in WA to unveil Hartog plate

AAP logoAAP 30/10/2016 Rebecca Gredley

The King and Queen of The Netherlands will visit Australia this week to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog's landing in Western Australia.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will also focus on business relations and ties between the two countries, and will include a visit to the MH17 memorial in Canberra.

The royal couple will begin the week-long official visit to Australia in Perth where they will unveil the historic Hartog plate at the official opening of the Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World exhibition at the WA Maritime Museum on Monday.

October 25 marked four centuries since Hartog landed at what is now known as Cape Inscription on the northwestern tip of WA's largest and most western isle, which was named after him.

He left the oldest physical evidence of European contact with Australia, a pewter plate inscribed with details of his voyage and landfall.

Another Dutch navigator, Willem de Vlamingh, discovered the plate 81 years later and replaced it with his own, taking Hartog's plate back to the Netherlands.

The plate is back in WA on loan from Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.

On Tuesday, the royal couple will head to Ascot racecourse to watch the Melbourne Cup.

On Wednesday, they visit Canberra to lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial and attend a state lunch hosted by Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.

They'll also speak to Australian officials involved in the repsonse to the downing of MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukraine on July 17, 2014.

The royal couple will also visit Sydney and Brisbane, before travelling to New Zealand from November 7 to 9.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon