San Francisco welcomed Queen Máxima to the Castro neighborhood on Tuesday. Among other things, the Queen will visit the GLBT Historical Society Museum in the neighborhood, where the history of American LGBTI people is documented. This is the first major part of his working visit to the United States.
On the front of a theater in Castro was the text “Warm welcome to one more queen in Castro!” read. The streets of Castro are decorated with rainbow flags. Upon arriving in Castro, Máxima was greeted by dozens of locals, many with a Dutch flag in their hands.
Dressed in a pink ensemble, Máxima briefly took the time to greet the waiting fans. Several people stopped her to wish King Willem-Alexander a speedy recovery. The king is not traveling because of pneumonia. Máxima thanked those present for their congratulations and indicated that her husband was doing better. “He sends you all his regards,” she added.
Before Máxima went to Castro, she hoisted the Dutch flag on the balcony of San Francisco City Hall. She did it with Mayor London Breed.
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Later in the day, Máxima signed a document in which she expressed her wish for greater cooperation between the Netherlands and California. In a speech, Máxima underlined the great similarities between the American state and the Netherlands. “We have a strong kinship based on shared values of human rights, diversity, inclusion and greater equality.” The Queen also hailed California’s big climate ambitions: “We’ve worked together for ten years and share our ambitions in this area.”
Máxima insisted that major crises in the world can only be resolved through more cooperation. “We Dutch people are very happy with the partners we can work with together to achieve a sustainable economy faster,” the Queen said. “Let us especially develop and cherish this collaboration.”
The Netherlands and California are “soul mates” and “pioneers in many areas”, such as the fight against climate change. This is what Máxima said during a speech at San Francisco City Hall, provided by the Netherlands.
Máxima admires the mentality in California: “don’t wait for circumstances to force you to act, but rather take matters into your own hands.” It may seem risky at first, but in the end it makes you stronger, according to the queen. “The Dutch recognize this mentality.” According to her, there is therefore a “natural attraction” between the Netherlands and “The Golden State”.
Deputy Governor Eleni Kounalakis recalled the long relations between the United States and the Netherlands: together with France, the Netherlands was the first to recognize the existence of the United States. Moreover, the United States was the first to open an embassy in the Netherlands. “With no other country do we have such long-lasting, unbroken and peaceful relations as with the Netherlands.”
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