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'Wonderful weather we're having': Pomp and pouring rain on Dutch royal visit

13 April 2011
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The weather certainly didn't cooperate as the Netherlands' Crown Princess Maxima began a state visit to Germany in blustery winds and torrential rain. In fact, her husband Prince Willem-Alexander even joked about it, quipping to his hosts: "What wonderful weather we're having." With her usual impeccable sense of occasion, Maxima was on dazzling form as she swept up to Berlin's Bellevue Palace, the official residence of President Christian Wulff and his wife Bettina, for an evening banquet.

Maxima elegant
Maxima elegant

Argentine-born Maxima was elegant in a floor-length blush-hued gown, her look topped off by a sparkling tiara, diamond earrings and a bracelet. The charismatic royal couple were supporting Willem’s mother Queen Beatrix as she makes her first official tour in almost three decades, to the homeland of her late husband Prince Claus, a former German diplomat who died in 2002.

Aside from nostalgia, the queen also had another compelling motive for the visit – a desire to see the developments since East and West united in 1990. And she had an opportunity to find out all about that when she was received the following day by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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