King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands kicked off their three-day state visit to Luxembourg in style, spending their first evening with hosts Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa enjoying a state banquet at the Grand Ducal Palace. The state visit began on Wednesday, May 23 in Luxembourg City, where the Grand Duke and Duchess received their royal guests in a welcoming ceremony, then visited Luxembourg's national war memorial and met with the city's mayor Lydie Polfer. Then the royals had a chance to explore the city including the 'Old Quarters', which have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Benelux Economic Union – a consolidated partnership between three countries, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium.
A toast! From left to right, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, King Willem-Alexander, Grand Duke Henri and Queen Maxima raised a glass during the official state dinner held at the Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg on May 23.
Both Queen Maxima and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa each wore royal heirloom jewels and one of their favorite designers: Maxima in one-shouldered silk Jan Taminiau and the Grand Duchess in Elie Saab.
Queen Maxima sparkled in the impressive 19th century Stuart tiara, wearing enormous diamonds from the set as earrings, and accessorising her gown with a bow-shaped brooch from the collection.
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore the gorgeous Belgian Scroll tiara with her rose-coloured off the shoulder beaded gown. This more modern, 1950s-era piece consists of more than 850 diamonds.
The Grand Duchess' daughter-in-law Princess Stéphanie wore the Chaumet tiara, which has a lattice motif and diamond tipped prongs. The headpiece, which also has detachable pearls, can also be worn as a choker.
The royal photo lineup, from left to right: Grand Duke Henri's heir, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume; Grand Duchess Maria Teresa; King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands; Grand Duke Henri and his daughter-in-law Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie.
Earlier in the day, Queen Maxima arrived with the King wearing a tailored gold silk dress to kick off the three-day visit.
Sixty-three-year-old Grand Duke Henri, who has reigned since October 2000, kissed Queen Maxima's hand when the Dutch royals arrived.
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa took advantage of the sunny weather with her chic sunglasses, worn at the welcoming ceremony with a mauve tailored coat and lavender dress.
Also there to greet the Dutch royal couple were Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and his wife Princess Stéphanie, who wore a green dress with cape detail, nude shoes and a woven hat.
The Luxembourg royals gave King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima a tour of the local sites and scenery – including the amazing views – on the first morning of the visit.
The Dutch royal couple walked arm in arm at the Monument National de la Solidarité Luxembourgeoise, where King Willem Alexander laid a wreath during a solemn ceremony.