Arrival of Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
Rideau Hall, Wednesday, May 27, 2015
What a pleasure it is to welcome Your Majesties and the members of your delegation to Rideau Hall in springtime.
On behalf of all Canadians: Welcome to Canada!
Sharon and I are so pleased to see you again and to have this opportunity to return the warmth and hospitality we received during our visits to the Netherlands.
Two years ago, we had the privilege of representing Canada at Your Majesty’s investiture. Last fall we met again prior to our participation in the Canadian commemorative ceremony in Bergen-op-Zoom, marking the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the liberation.
Both occasions underscored the enduring strength of the friendship between our two countries.
Your visit to Canada will reinforce that precious bond.
We are delighted that you will be meeting with the people of Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo over the next three days.
During your time here, you will have an opportunity to meet with Canadians who are involved in business and academia, and to explore possibilities for innovation and partnerships between our two countries.
Working together, we have already achieved great things, but so much more is possible.
I am also pleased to note you will be highlighting the theme of remembrance during your visit, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the end of the liberation of the Netherlands.
Many Canadians served and made sacrifices during the Second World War, and your presence on this solemn anniversary is very much appreciated.
It truly is a special bond that exists between the people of Canada and of the Netherlands. One in every 30 or so Canadians is of Dutch origin.
Your Princess Margriet was born here in Ottawa, in January 1943, while then-Crown Princess Juliana was in exile in Canada with her daughters.
The young royal family even stayed for a time at Rideau Hall, so this visit is a bit of a homecoming for Your Majesties!
The homecoming today is embraced by so many supporters—Canadian and Dutch—who are here today to welcome you and your delegation. And you will see the legacy of the 100,000 tulip bulbs your Royal Family gifted to Canada after the war.
The people of Canada and the Netherlands cherish human rights, democracy, peace and security.
We are partners in trade and diplomacy, in culture and learning. We trust that your visit will help advance existing partnerships and develop new ones in these areas.
Thank you for coming to Canada and for your contribution to the important friendship between our two countries.