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Dutch royalty invited to Tweed

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands Emiel Ketelaar / GFDL & CC-BY-SA

A GROUP of Dutch Australians is busy laying the foundations for a Dutch-Australian Festival to be held in 2015 and have invited Queen Beatrix to attend the event.

The group recently incorporated the Dutch Australian Festival Association and elected local businessman Peter van Lieshout to head the organising committee.

At a meeting held earlier this year, organisers asked the Honorary Dutch Consul Captain Kasper Kuiper to invite Queen Beatrix to come to Australia and attend the festival.

Honorary Consul Kuiper visited Holland recently and during his stay delivered an official invitation including a letter by local Dutch Australians to Dutch Palace officials.

Captain Kuiper said the organisers' request was well received, however, he didn't expect the Dutch Queen to take up the invitation.

"Queen Beatrix is 75 years old and will be 78 by the time the festival takes place."

The Queen visited Australia in 1988, however, for her to make the long journey to Australia again was probably a little too much to ask.

Mr van Lieshout said he was very excited the message was welcomed by the 'palace'.

This is the reason why we have such a long lead time, it gives people like the Royal family enough time to organise a visit and allows Dutch residents who want to come over for the festival to make arrangements," Mr van Lieshout said.

Captain Kuiper hinted one of the Queen's sons might be present for the event however no firm promises were made.

Rumours indicated the Dutch Queen might be handing over to her first son, Crown Prince Willem Alexander, making her acceptance of the invitation increasingly unlikely.

Crown Prince Willem Alexander had travelled the world extensively on behalf of his mother and making the trip down under was certainly a possibility.

Mr van Lieshout said "wouldn't it be great if the next Dutch King attended the event".

"It would be absolutely fantastic for the Tweed and its residents."

Anyone interested in making a contribution or in joining the association can contact Mr van Lieshout at pvanlieshout@live.com.au.

Topics:  dutch festival, netherlands, peter van lieshout, queen beatrix, royalty, tweed


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