It's been nearly forty years since the previous Dutch monarchs made an official state visit to the United Kingdom, but King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will change that come October. The royal couple has accepted an invitation from the Queen and will be spending the night of their Oct. 23 to Oct. 24 visit at Buckingham Palace. Not too shabby!
While they met with Her Majesty at Windsor Castle in 2013, the 51-year-old and his 47-year-old wife have never been to Buckingham Palace. The last Dutch royals to make an official visit were Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus way back in 1982, so the trip will surely be an exciting one. While it's always wonderful to see international royals coming together, Queen Máxima is also a fashionable force and there's never a dull moment where her wardrobe is concerned.
The queen of the Netherlands has been through a tough time this year, having lost her beloved sister Inés Zorreguieta on June 6 to an apparent suicide in Buenos Aires. A palace spokesperson said that Máxima was "deeply shocked and devastated" by the news, having been close to the 33-year-old, who suffered from depression and mental health issues. Inés was godmother to Máxima's daughter Princess Ariane.
It was at this time that the queen was scheduled to go on tour with King Willem-Alexander to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, though her husband went alone. “Of course, it’s a shame when your buddy isn’t here but she has good reason not be here. I am constantly in touch with her and with the children as well, because they were are home alone,” the Dutch King said (via Royal Central). “They have support, of course, but I wanted to be sure that they wouldn’t fall into a black hole after visiting Buenos Aires.”
Two week's after her little sister's death, the mother of three returned to work, visiting the UMC Groningen Proton Therapy Center, where she paid a tearful tribute to Inés. "I'm so pleased to be back at work at this centre, which helps so many people suffering from cancer," said Máxima. "People who are ill, but who haven't lost hope to recover. My sweet and talented younger sister Ines was also ill. She was unable to find happiness and sadly couldn't get better. Our only consolation is to think that she has finally found peace."