The King's meetings and other contacts
The King’s Office prepares and briefs the King on his meetings and contacts with all manner of Dutch and foreign dignitaries. In addition the King sends hundreds of messages every year.
Meetings with ministers and state secretaries
Since he is part of the government, the King confers regularly with ministers and state secretaries. For example, when a new government takes office, the King receives each of its members in turn to discuss the current status of each policy field and what specific plans the minister or state secretary has in mind. The aim of these meetings is for the King to have a clear picture of what the new government plans to do.
The King meets the ministers and state secretaries on many other occasions too, for example on state or working visits.
Meetings with the prime minister and senior officials
To keep abreast of current government policy, the King has a meeting with the prime minister at Noordeinde Palace nearly every Monday afternoon.
He also has regular meetings with:
- the presidents of the Senate and the House of Representatives
- the vice-president of the Council of State
- other senior dignitaries.
Image: ©Rotapool / Martijn Beekman
Ambassadors’ letters of credence
Newly appointed foreign ambassadors are received by the King at Noordeinde Palace shortly after their arrival in the Netherlands. The Minister of Foreign Affairs or a senior foreign ministry official is present on these occasions. A ceremonial reception of this kind emphasises that the Netherlands values and respects relations with the country in question.
In accordance with international custom dating from the late Middle Ages, an ambassador-designate presents two letters of credence to the King. The first recalls the previous ambassador and the second introduces the new ambassador as the most senior diplomatic representative of his or her country in the Netherlands. Ambassadors are officially accredited from the moment that the King accepts their credentials. Over 40 ambassadors present their credentials every year.
After the credentials have been presented, the King has a short talk with the new ambassador. The King also receives long-serving ambassadors at the end of their time in the Netherlands.
For their part, Dutch ambassadors present letters of credence signed by the King to the head of state of the country to which they are accredited.
Image: ©ANP pool / Frank van Beek
Every year the King sends hundreds of messages on the occasion of significant events in the Netherlands and elsewhere.
The King also sends messages to other heads of state, for example to convey good wishes on a national holiday or the anniversary of a monarch’s accession. Or on sad occasions, such as messages of condolence following natural or other disasters, or the death of distinguished individuals.
The King also receives many messages. The King’s Office is responsible for dealing with both incoming and outgoing messages.