King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will visit Grand Rapids on June 2, Governor Rick Snyder announced Tuesday, bringing the Dutch royal couple to a bastion of Dutch-American culture. Michigan has the largest Dutch-American population in the United States at 481,000.
The king, queen and governor will spend time at the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, named for Mr. Meijer, a second generation Dutch immigrant whose Meijer stores have grown into a popular chain. The three will then visit Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Van Andel Research Institute, two entities also named for people with Dutch ancestry.
Some of King Willem-Alexander’s ancestors also visited Holland, Michigan.
Former Queen Beatrix visited Grand Rapids,, Holland, and Ann Arbor in 1982.
Source : “Dutch Royal Couple to visit Grand Rapids on June 2, 2015, to celebrate Dutch heritage, strong economic ties”, BusinessWire, May 18, 2015.
Shandra Martinez, “Meet the Dutch Royal family: 9 things to know before tour, 1st U.S. visit”, MLive, May 17, 2015.
Zlati Meyer, “Welkom! Dutch king, queen visit Grand Rapids”, Detroit Free Press, June 2, 2015.