After the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands during World War II, the Dutch royals are showing their gratitude for the part that Canadian soldiers played in freeing the country from the Nazis. Awarding a meaningful 70 scholarships to Canadian students on a visit to the University of Waterloo in Ontario, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima launched the Liberation Scholarship Program, and charmed its first recipients in the process.
In a sea of orange shirts, many worn by well-wishers of Dutch heritage, faculty and students, Queen Máxima looked elegant as ever in an olive-hued lace dress, lime-green earrings and one of her many wide-brimmed hats - this time a woven beige topper. King Willem-Alexander stood tall and proud beside his wife in a black suit, white shirt and patterned blue tie.
While at the University of Waterloo, the monarchs were given a tour of the Quantum Lab, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to quantum information research. On the evening of their second day in Canada, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima changed into black-tie fare - he in a navy-blue tuxedo and she in an showstopping long-sleeved red gown with pearl baubles and a glittering hair piece - for a concert by the Holland Baroque Society.
Day 2's activities follow a busy first day in Ottawa, during which the royals laid a wreath at the National War Museum and met veterans from the Second World War before dazzling attendees at a State Dinner hosted by Governor General David Johnston and wife Sharon. Queen Máxima wore a beautiful ruby-studded tiara called the Peacock, a 19th-century heirloom that she paired with a tiered, fringed one-shoulder fuchsia gown.
On the third and final day of their visit, the Netherlands' monarchs will attend an event at the Art Gallery of Toronto and also offer a rather artistic gift of their own - a set of seven orange "Tulpi" chairs, which will be installed at the ferry dock on Centre Island.
While Dutch tulips are exported and cherished around the world, these chairs - ergonomic, no less - are also a popular gift sent to friends of the Netherlands. A stylish and beautiful alternative to simple benches, designer Marco Manders' perches will be unveiled today (May 29).