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When Maxima met the Obamas: Dutch royals spend whirlwind week in US

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Day one of Maxima and Willem-Alexander's visit included stopping by the Empire State Building to switch on orange-coloured lights to mark the start of NY400 week
 Photo: © Getty Images

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The European royals also jetted to Washington DC to meet with America's first couple, Michelle and Barack Obama during their stay
Photo: © Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton 

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And finally, to celebrate a successful week, Maxima and her husband jumped on some bikes - appropriately also orange - for a ride around a park overlooking the Hudson River
Photo: © NY400.com 

14 SEPTEMBER 2009

In the midst of New York Fashion Week, America has had a taste of European elegance first-hand courtesy of one of the continent's most stylish royals, Argentinian-born Crown Princess Maxima of the Netherlands.

The princess and her husband Crown Prince Willem-Alexander have spent the past week in the Big Apple helping celebrate NY400 week - the 400th anniversary of Dutch explorer Henry Hudson's arrival into what became New York harbour.

And it has certainly been a busy time for the couple, who were officially greeted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg upon their arrival.

Day one of the visit for the Prince of Orange and Maxima – clad in a Jackie O-inspired ensemble - included a trip to one of the city's landmarks, the Empire State Building.

There they did the honours at a lighting-up ceremony, bathing the famous skyscraper in an orange glow to celebrate the first day of the celebrations held to mark Dutch-American relations.

Mum-of-three Maxima was on no less glamorous form in a chic lime green dress when she came face-to-face with the US' first lady Michelle Obama, and her husband President Barack Obama.

As part of their American visit, the prince and his wife, who lived in NY for five years, were in the city during the eighth anniversary of 9/11 on Friday.

And after attending a memorial ceremony at Ground Zero, they headed to Washington DC for an hour-long meeting in the White House.

Other highlights from the trip included the christening of a new tulip, an orange flower named the Henry Hudson, which was officially given its name by Maxima.

And the fun-loving couple marked the end of NY400 week by getting on their bikes – literally – and going for a ride around Battery Park before watching the first-ever Harbour Day celebrations, which included a parade of hundreds of Dutch and American ships on the Hudson river.

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