France · Netherlands

Open Post – French State Visit to the Netherlands (Updated Day 2 Evening)

At the invitation of His Majesty the King, the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, will pay a state visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 April 2023. The President will be accompanied by his wife Brigitte Macron.

— Dutch Royal Website


  • Tuesday, April 11
    • Welcome Ceremony
    • Wreath Laying Ceremony
    • Visit to the States General
    • State Banquet
  • Wednesday, April 12
    • Visit to Science Park and “Mind Us”
    • Government Consultations
    • Vermeer Exhibition

You can find more details here.

Day One – Welcome Ceremony

The King and Queen greeted the French president and his wife at the Royal Palace. The Queen is in a Natan re-wear; both the coat and dress have made several previous appearances. Fun Fact: the Queen’s maid Jolanda is the designer of her turban. See ModekoninginMaxima for more details.

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Day One – State Banquet

Before we proceed to the people and the clothes, let’s take a moment to sigh over the starry night carpet. It’s always one of my favorite sights during these visits.

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The state banquet was remarkable in several ways, sartorially speaking. Brigitte Macron is her usual elegant self, although her dress is so restrained that she practically fades into the background. The Queen, however, most certainly does not.

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The off-the-shoulder red dress is by Claes Iversen, and the sash matches almost perfectly. The combo will either work for you or not. A couple hofdames thought the whole thing made the brooches float randomly about her person, and a couple of us found the blending very soothing.

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Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien were also there, and I am always glad to see the Laurel Wreath tiara tucked up in someone’s hair!

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As far as President Macron’s combination of black tie/white tie, well, yes, it’s a mishmash of styles. We’re not sure if it’s a deliberate fashion choice or just an unfortunate breach of protocol.

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The Queen wore the Antique Pearl tiara, some amazing pearl earrings, and a necklace. Thanks to our dear friend-of-the blog, Triple A, we have a fascinating background on the latter. Buckle up – this is quite a story!

In 1646, Princess Louise Henriëtte of Orange, the eldest daughter of Princess Amalia, married Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg. Louise received a pearl necklace from the Amsterdam mayors as a wedding gift, consisting of 35 large pearls worth NLG 24,000. By inheritance in the direct line, the thick pearl necklace eventually ended up with the Duke William of Brunswijk (Braunschweig).

This Duke was put forward by the English King William IV as a possible suitor for the Württemberg Princess Sophie. After an unsuccessful attempt at a meeting in Stuttgart, she met the Duke for the first time in 1838 in Berlin. Despite the very positive impression Sophie had left with the Duke (“I can’t say I loved him, but I could have loved him”), fate was not on their side. Instead, she married the Prince of Orange, the suitor chosen by her father.

The Duke was inconsolable. Queen Sophie has always kept in touch with the Duke throughout her life. His painted portrait hung in one of her private rooms until her death. Van Brunswijk, who ultimately never married and remained childless, gave Sophie a special gift shortly before his death: the pearl necklace from 1646. Thus, the necklace returned to Orange Nassau.

Thanks to a duke disappointed in love, the House of Orange still owns one of the world’s most beautiful 17th-century pearl necklaces. A large portion of Queen Sophie’s pearl jewelry eventually ended up with the young Queen Wilhelmina. Apart from a painting, the 17th-century pearl necklace could be admired for the first time again in an official photograph of Queen Wilhelmina. Around the time of her engagement (1900), the young Queen was “decorated” with Sophie’s other pearls.

The pearl necklace was prominently displayed in the following years. Queens Juliana and Beatrix both regularly wore the necklace, and Queen Máxima has been wearing it since 2017.

Day Two

The Queen and Mme. Macron visited a walk-in mental health facility for young people, and also stopped by the Anne Frank House. The Queen is wearing a Natan dress and coat from Kings Day in 2018.

The French flag is well represented here!

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Both women changed into something more practical (in royal terms) for a visit to Keukenhof to view the tulip fields and a windmill or two. The Queen repeated her Joseph pantsuit, which received rave reviews the first time around here and paired it with a new checked coat. Mme. Macron is simply chic, as usual.

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Both women chose basic black for the last visit of the trip: a Vermeer exhibit and a final dinner together. The Queen is wearing one of the Baguette’s favorite aigrettes in a repeated Natan pants and shirt ensemble. Mme. Macron answered with some emphatic embellishments on her shoulders!

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You know the drill; leave your comments, and we will return with official photos later.