#OTD 22 September 1601 Anne of Austria was born

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Anne of Austria (22 September 1601 – 20 January 1666), a Spanish princess of the House of Habsburg, was queen of France as the wife of Louis XIII and regent for their son, Louis XIV. During her regency (1643–1651), Cardinal Mazarin served as France’s chief minister. Accounts of French court life of her era emphasize her difficult marital relations with her husband, her closeness to her son Louis XIV, and her disapproval of her son’s marital infidelity to her niece Maria Theresa.

Born at Benavente Palace in Valladolid, Spain, and baptised Ana María Mauricia, she was the eldest daughter of King Philip III of Spain and his wife Margaret of Austria. She held the titles of Infanta of Spain and of Portugal (since her father was king of Portugal as well as Spain) and Archduchess of Austria. In spite of her birth in Spain, she was referred to as Anne of Austria because the rulers of Spain belonged to the House of Austria.
Anne was raised mainly at the Royal Alcazar of Madrid. Exceptionally for a royal princess, Anne grew up close to her parents, who were very religious. She was raised to be religious too, and was often taken to visit monasteries during her childhood. In 1611, she lost her mother, who died in childbirth. Despite her grief, Anne did her best to take care of her younger siblings, who referred to her with affection as their mother.

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Anne was betrothed at age eleven to King Louis XIII of France. Her father gave her a dowry of 500,000 crowns and many beautiful jewels. For fear that Louis XIII would die early, the Spanish court stipulated that she would return to Spain with her dowry, jewels, and wardrobe if he did die. Prior to the marriage, Anne renounced all succession rights she had had for herself and her descendants by Louis, with a provision that she would resume her rights should she be left a childless widow. On 24 November 1615, Louis and Anne were married by proxy in Burgos while Louis’s sister, Elisabeth of France, and Anne’s brother, Philip IV of Spain, were married by proxy in Bordeaux. These marriages followed the tradition of cementing military and political alliances between France and Spain that began with the marriage of Philip II of Spain to Elisabeth of Valois in 1559 as part of the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis. Anne and Elisabeth were exchanged on the Isle of Pheasants between Hendaye and Fuenterrabía. She was lively and beautiful during her youth. She was also a noted equestrian, a taste her son, Louis, would inherit. At the time, Anne had many admirers, including the handsome Duke of Buckingham, although her intimates believed their flirtations remained chaste.

Anne and Louis, both fourteen years old, were pressured to consummate their marriage in order to forestall any possibility of future annulment, but Louis ignored his bride. Louis’s mother, Marie de’ Medici, continued to conduct herself as queen of France, without showing any deference to her daughter-in-law. Anne, surrounded by her entourage of high-born Spanish ladies-in-waiting, continued to live according to Spanish etiquette and failed to improve her French.
In 1617, Louis conspired with Charles d’Albert, Duke of Luynes, to dispense with the influence of his mother in a palace coup d’état and had her favorite Concino Concini assassinated on 26 April of that year. During the years he was in the ascendancy, the Duke of Luynes attempted to remedy the formal distance between Louis and his queen. He sent away the Spanish ladies and replaced them with French ones, notably the Princesse of Conti (Louise Marguerite of Lorraine) and his wife Marie de Rohan-Montbazon, with whom he organized court events that would bring the couple together under amiable circumstances. Anne began to dress in the French manner, and in 1619 Luynes pressed the king to bed his queen. Some affection developed, to the point where it was noted that Louis was distracted during a serious illness of the queen.
A series of stillbirths disenchanted the king and served to chill their relations. On 14 March 1622, while playing with her ladies, Anne fell on a staircase and suffered her second stillbirth. Louis blamed her for the incident and was angry with the Duchess of Luynes for having encouraged the queen in what was seen as negligence. Henceforth, the king had less tolerance for the influence that the duchess had over Anne, and the situation deteriorated after the death of her husband Luynes in December 1621. The king’s attention was monopolized by his war against the Protestants, while the queen defended the remarriage of her inseparable companion Marie de Rohan-Montbazon, center of all court intrigue, to her lover Claude, Duke of Chevreuse, in 1622.
Louis turned now to Cardinal Richelieu as his advisor. Richelieu’s foreign policy of struggle against the Habsburgs, who surrounded France on two fronts, inevitably created tension between himself and Anne, who remained childless for another sixteen years, while Louis depended ever more on Richelieu, who was his first minister from 1624 until his death in 1642.
Under the influence of Marie de Rohan-Montbazon, the queen let herself be drawn into political opposition to Richelieu and became embroiled in several intrigues against his policies. Vague rumors of betrayal circulated in the court, notably her supposed involvement with the conspiracies of the Count of Chalais that Marie organized in 1626, then those of the king’s treacherous favorite, Cinq-Mars, who had been introduced to him by Richelieu.
In 1635, France declared war on Spain, placing the queen in an untenable position. Her secret correspondence with her brother Philip IV of Spain passed beyond the requirements of sisterly affection. In August 1637, Anne came under so much suspicion that Richelieu forced her to sign covenants regarding her correspondence, which was henceforth open to inspection. Her favourite Marie was exiled and close watch was kept on the queen.

Anne of Austria (1601–1666) by Charles Beaubrun

As part of her role as a member of Spanish royalty Anne visited churches and convents across France, where she met Marguerite de Veny d’Arbouze at the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce de la-Ville-d’Evêque. As well as securing from the King the position of Abbess at the Benedictine Val-de-Grâce de Notre-Dame-de-la-Crèche for Marguerite in 1618, Anne purchased lands and transferred the convent to Paris in 1621. She was named the new foundress of the convent in the same year. Her patronage included the building of a small church and an apartment for herself between 1620-1625, against the wishes of both Louis and Cardinal Richelieu.
The Val-de-Grâce was commissioned by Anne in 1645, which was undertaken initially by Francois Mansart, who was dismissed in 1646 and succeeded by Jacques Lemercier. As well as being her main place of worship, the Val-de-Grâce displays dynastic significance for Anne, whose role as Queen Regent during La Fronde. In 1662 Anne acquired the hearts of her ancestors Anne Elizabeth of France, placed in the Chapel of Saint Anne. She herself was interred in 1666 in the Chapel of Saint Sacrament, along with the body of Marguerite d’Arbouze..

Despite a climate of distrust, the queen became pregnant once more, a circumstance that contemporary gossip attributed to a single stormy night that prevented Louis from travelling to Saint-Maur and obliged him to spend the night with the queen. Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638, an event that secured the Bourbon line. At this time, Anne was 37. The official newspaper Gazette de France called the birth “a marvel when it was least expected”.
The birth of a living son failed to re-establish confidence between the royal couple, however she conceived again fifteen months later. At Saint-Germain-en-Laye on 21 September 1640 Anne gave birth to her second son, Philippe de France, Duke of Anjou, and later the founder of the modern House of Orléans.
Richelieu made Louis XIII a gift of his palatial hôtel, the Palais Cardinal, north of the Louvre, in 1636, but the king never took possession of it. Anne fled the Louvre Palace to install herself there with her two small sons and remained as regent (hence the name Palais-Royal that the structure still carries). Louis tried to prevent Anne from obtaining the regency after his death, which came in 1643, not long after that of Richelieu.

Anne was named regent upon her husband’s death in spite of her late husband’s wishes. With the aid of Pierre Séguier, she had the Parlement de Paris revoke the will of the late king, which would have limited her powers. Their four-year-old son was crowned King Louis XIV of France. Anne assumed the regency but to general surprise entrusted the government to the chief minister, Cardinal Mazarin, who was a protégé of Cardinal Richelieu and figured among the council of the regency. Mazarin left the Hôtel Tubeuf to take up residence at the Palais Royal near Queen Anne. Before long he was believed to be her lover, and, it was hinted, even her husband.
With Mazarin’s support, Anne overcame the aristocratic revolt, led by Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé, that became known as the Fronde. In 1651, when her son Louis XIV officially came of age, her regency legally ended. However, she kept much power and influence over her son until the death of Mazarin.

In 1659, the war with Spain ended with the Treaty of the Pyrenees. The following year, peace was cemented by the marriage of the young King to Anne’s niece, the Spanish Habsburg princess Maria Theresa of Spain.
In 1661, the same year as the death of Mazarin, an heir to the throne was born, Anne’s first grandchild Louis. Many other children would follow, but all in the legitimate line would die except for Louis. Some time after, Anne retired to the convent of Val-de-Grâce, where she died of breast cancer five years later. Her lady-in-waiting Madame de Motteville wrote the story of the queen’s life in her Mémoires d’Anne d’Autriche. Many view her as a brilliant and cunning woman and she is one of the central figures in Alexandre Dumas, père’s novel, The Three Musketeers and its sequels.

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Prince Albert II of Monaco speaks before the 72nd United Nations General Assembly

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ALBERT II, Prince of Monaco, said the threat of nuclear escalation in Asia had never been greater, adding respect for Security Council resolutions and all Member States was critical to addressing the crisis. The international community could not fail to act in the face of those threats and must deter those who exposed humankind to disaster. Monaco lent its support to collective action for peace and security, he said, noting his country’s membership in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe. Working to stop mass suffering was imperative, he said, expressing support for the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for the Syrian Arab Republic.

Famine in Africa, largely exacerbated by war, had become a humanitarian disaster, he noted. Through work with various international organizations and the development of its own strategic plan for public assistance, Monaco was working to guarantee food security and fight corruption. Key to those ideals was the fight against impunity, and his country was committed to respect for justice and peace. Attacks claiming innocent lives affected all of us, regardless of where they took place, he noted.

Monaco, boasting cultural diversity, was open to engaging in open dialogue, he said. It remained steadfast in its support for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, as those must be the priorities of any modern State mindful of its citizens. The many crises across the world justify advocacy for basic human rights, especially for the most vulnerable.

Climate change remained an imminent threat to humankind, he said. Recent natural hazards put into focus the importance of the Paris Agreement and the need to adapt, he continued, stressing that a change in lifestyle was “long overdue”. Calling attention to “glaring inequalities”, he urged moving forward with a resolve to eliminate sexual exploitation, pointing out that that included those abuses in United Nations peacekeeping missions. Monaco supported United Nations reform initiatives, he said, adding that he wanted to see the Organization’s staff working towards a noble goal.

Recalling Monaco had presented its first report on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to the high-level political forum in the summer, he said Goal 14 on aquatic marine life was of particular importance to his country. “Our ability to save the ocean from its gradual decline will enable us to save our planet,” he said. In that regard, he outlined Monaco’s various activities on the safeguarding of marine protected areas and other related issues. He concluded by emphasizing that science should guide all States as they worked towards a better world.

Crown Princess Mary attends The Global Goals Awards 2017

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Crown Princess mary of Denmark attended the UN Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards in New York City. The ceremony, which honours outstanding individuals for their contribution to United Nations.
The Princess handed over a award, The Healthy Not Hungry Award is given to an individual whose efforts in tackling chronic malnutrition issues affecting children and mothers are changing lives in his or her community or country.
Princess Mary addressing the crowd before shaking hands with Bernard Coulibaly on stage as she handed over the prestigious accolade.
She also attended the Women Deliver event on women’s rights and health where she handed over Canada as the new host country for the 2019 Women Deliver Conference.

#OTD 21 September 1819 Louise Marie Thérèse of Artois was born

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Louise Marie Thérèse d’Artois (Louise Marie Thérèse; 21 September 1819 – 1 February 1864) was a duchess and later a regent of Parma. She was the eldest daughter of Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry, younger son of King Charles X of France and Carolina of Naples and Sicily, daughter of King Francis I of the Two Sicilies. She served as regent of Parma during the minority of her son from 1854 until 1859.

Louise’s father died when she was five months old. When her grandfather abdicated in 1830, Louise joined the rest of her immediate family in exile, eventually settling in Austria. As the granddaughter of the king, Louise was a petite-fille de France. Her younger brother, Henri, Duke of Bordeaux, was King of France and of Navarre from 2 to 9 August 1830, and afterwards the Legitimist Pretender to the throne of France from 1844 to 1883.
On 10 November 1845, at Schloss Frohsdorf in Austria, Louise married Ferdinando Carlo, Hereditary Prince of Lucca, known as Charles III, Duke of Parma and Piacenza after 1849. On 17 December 1847 Empress Marie Louise died and her father-in-law succeeded as Duke Charles II of Parma. The Duchy of Lucca was incorporated in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and she and her husband ceased being Hereditary Prince of Lucca becoming instead Hereditary Prince of Parma.
Her father-in-law was the Duke of Parma for a few months. In March 1848 revolution broke out in Parma supported by King Charles Albert of Sardinia. Ferdinando Carlo escaped from Parma, but was taken prisoner at Cremona. He remained a prisoner at Milan for several months until the British government negotiated his release. After a brief sojourn on the island of Malta, he travelled to Naples and then Livorno where he was joined by Louise Marie Thérèse who had just given birth to their first son. Then the family sought refuge in England and Scotland.
In August 1848 the Austrian army entered Parma, and officially restored Charles II. Ferdinando Carlo and his family, however, remained in England, since hostilities continued between the Austrian and Piedmontese armies. For several years Charles II had considered abdicating in favour of Ferdinando Carlo, but he delayed in the hope that when he did so things would be more secure for his son.

On 24 March 1849, the abdication of Charles II was announced. Ferdinando Carlo, still living in England, succeeded to the title of Duke of Parma, Piacenza, and the Annexed States taking the name Charles III. On 18 May 1849, Louise’s husband re-entered Parma, but he left again two days later. He did not take over the administration of the duchy until 25 August.
When her husband was murdered in 1854, Louise served as Regent for their young son, the new duke Robert I. Like the other rulers of the Central Italian states, she and her son were ousted during the Franco-Austrian War of 1859, and they retired to Austrian protection in Venice.
Various schemes following the war, either for her and her son’s restoration in Parma, or territorial swaps which might leave them ruling over Tuscany, Modena, or the Romagna, came to nothing, as the whole of central Italy was annexed by Piedmont in March 1860. Louise lived out the remainder of her life in exile.

Queen Sophie of the Netherlands met Louise Marie in 1862 and described her in a letter to a friend:
The other day I made the acquaintance of the Duchesse de Parme, Count Chambord’s sister. She is much larger than Princess Mary of Cambridge, very small, but lively, agreeable, without bitterness after so many misfortunes. Her boys are dwarfs but full of French repartée and gaiety. I liked her and pity such a lot—murder and revolutions persecuting her since birth…

Louise died on 1 February 1864, aged 44, in the Palazzo Giustinian in Venice. She was buried in her grandfather Charles X’s crypt at the Franciscan monastery Kostanjevica in Görz, Austria (now Nova Gorica, Slovenia).
Other members of the French Royal Family buried there include her brother Henri, Count of Chambord; her aunt Marie Thérèse of France; and her uncle Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême.

Dutch Royals Attends Prinsjesdag 2017

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King Willem-Alexander opened the Netherlands’ parliamentary year with his traditional speech. He talked about the devastation Hurricane Irma left of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Dutch Kingdom, terrorism around the world, the prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster, and making sure that everyone in the Netherlands benefits from the improving economy, among other things.

“On Prince’s day ( prinsjesdag)all eyes are traditionally oriented on The Hague”, the King started his speech. “But today, our heart and thoughts are first and foremost with the inhabitants of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius, so heavily affected by the devastating power of hurricane Irma. We empathize intensely. It is precisely in these difficult circumstances that interconnection is visible in the Kingdom. Support was promised from many sides and assistance given. The government will do what it takes to remedy this acute need. The Caribbean part of the Kingdom is not alone in responsibility for reconstruction.”
“Looking at the Netherlands, we see many positive developments at the end of this cabinet”, the King said. “Our country is in a better position than at the start of the cabinet in 2012. This is the result of the internationally recovering economy, but also of the adaptability, hard work and resilience of the Dutch population.”

The Dutch economy has been steadily growing since 2014. Economic growth is expected to reach 3.3 percent this year and 2.5 percent next year. Exports, consumption, business investment as well as the surplus on the government budget continues to grow. Unemployment is expected to decline to 4.3 percent next year.

“But no matter how good all the figures and forecasts are, not everyone is benefiting from it. There are still people who struggle to pay the rent every month and get by, or worry about their job security. The government ensured that all groups, including the social minima and the elderly, at least retain their purchasing power in 2018.” The King finds it important to make sure that more people benefit from the Netherlands’ economic prosperity.

“In an open and internationally oriented society like ours, the outside world is always an influential factor”, the King said. And while the international interweaving of the Netherlands is often enriching, increasing international instability also affects people’s lives, directly or indirectly. “Globalization is a fact that we as a country must respond to. Many Dutch people benefit from it. But that does not apply to everyone, and not to all areas.”

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“Tensions elsewhere in the world often express themselves in war and violence”, the King said, referring to terrorist attacks in Europe and throughout the world. “Still, we should not let ourselves be ruled by fear. The best answer to terrorism is that we stick to our way of life. The security services involved are very alert and do everything in their power to prevent attacks. Combating radicalization requires both preventative and repressive actions, from paying attention to it at schools to withdrawing Dutch citizenship.”

The King emphasized that the Netherlands continues to work with the European Union, NATO, the United Nations and other international connections, “to ensure our national security and prosperity”. In 2018 the Netherlands is also a member of the UN Security Council. “This membership underscores our continued commitment to stability worldwide, with all the means available to us: diplomacy, development cooperation and the deployment of soldiers.”

“The Dutch men and women who work for peace and security, sometimes far from home, deserve our support and great respect”, the King said. “The Dutch military effort is primarily focused on the wider circle of instability around Europe, as it affects the Netherlands and its allies.” The Dutch government made proposals to continue its military contribution to ongoing missions in Lithuania, Afghanistan, Mali, the anti-ISIS coalition and the fight against piracy next year.

“To address some urgent bottlenecks, there is additional money for security and terrorism”, the King said. More money will go to the intelligence services, so they can recruit more staff. The Koninklijke Marechaussee will be able to strengthen border control. And to better address the increasing digital threats, more money is going to the fight against cyber espionage, cyber sabotage and cyber crime.

“The government feels the lasting and special responsibility to do justice to the innocent victims of flight MH17”, the King said. From next year, the government is setting money aside for prosecuting the perpetrators responsible for downing flight MH17 in July 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

The King also confirmed a number of figures that already leaked from the budget. An extra 435 million euros will go towards nursing home care from next year. And 270 million euros was set aside to increase primary school teachers’ salaries.

“The gas extraction in Groningen has been reduced by more than half in this cabinet period and as of 1 October, production will be reduced further”, the King said. “But more is needed to do justice to the affected Groningen residents. A compensation fund and a new damage protocol are being prepared. The government realizes that the great concerns of the people who live in the earthquake area in Groningen have not just been taken away.”

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“On the threshold of the next cabinet period, a new parliamentary year begins today, in which the next cabinet’s program will determine your work”, the King said, addressing the members of the States General. “The Netherlands is a coalition country. Through cooperation, much has been achieved in the period that is behind us and there is much to build on. You have a special responsibility as representatives of the people. You may know that many people wish you wisdom and pray with me for strength and blessings from God for you.”

Prinsjesdag

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Prinsjesdag is the day on which the reigning monarch of the Netherlands addresses a joint session of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives to give the speech from the throne; setting out the main features of government policy for the coming parliamentary session.
The occasion is prescribed by the constitution, article 65 of which states: “A statement of the policy to be pursued by the Government shall be given by or on behalf of the King before a joint session of the two Houses of the States-General that shall be held every year on the third Tuesday in September or on such earlier date as may be prescribed by Act of Parliament.”
After the speech from the throne, the budget is later presented to the House of Representatives by the minister of finance.

In the 18th century, Prinsjesdag was one of the country’s most popular public holidays and was originally used to celebrate the birthday of Prince William V on 8 March.
Between 1780 and 1797 — known as the Patriot era, leading up to the Batavian Revolution — the day was used for demonstrations of loyalty to the House of Orange, which is probably why the current name was chosen in the 19th century for the ceremonial opening of parliament.

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Historically, the constitution has stated that the opening of parliament should take place on a fixed date. The opening of parliament was originally held on the first Monday in November in the first half of the 19th century, and then the third Monday in October, but when a constitutional revision introduced annual budgets in 1848, more time was needed to debate the budget, so the date was brought forward a month. Monday was considered inappropriate, because many parliamentarians in distant parts of the country needed to leave their homes on Sunday to make it to The Hague in time, so in 1887 Prinsjesdag was moved to Tuesday.
Throughout the years 1815 to 1904, the speech from the throne was given in the assembly room of the House of Representatives, but it was moved back to the Hall of Knights after an extensive restoration of the building at the start of the 20th century.
The pomp and circumstance is still very much part of the day.

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The first part of Prinsjesdag is the Speech from the Throne at the assembly of the States-General in the Ridderzaal.
At around 12:30 on Prinsjesdag, the members of the Senate and House of Representatives enter the Ridderzaal.
They sit opposite and to the left and right of the throne. The ministers and state secretaries sit to the left of the throne. Behind them sit members of the Council of State, the government’s highest advisory body. They all sit in the enceinte, an area enclosed by unobtrusive wooden barriers symbolising that the head of state is in conference with Parliament.
Outside the enceinte are seats for the other High Councils of State, senior civil servants, high-ranking officers of the armed forces, senior members of the judiciary, the King’s Commissioner of the province of South Holland, the mayor of The Hague and specially invited guests.
At the stroke of one, the King, normally accompanied by other members of the Royal House, leaves Noordeinde Palace in the Golden Coach for the Binnenhof, escorted by court dignitaries and a military escort of honour. Outside the palace stand an escort of honour and a military band.
As the King arrives at the Binnenhof, a band by the steps strikes up the Wilhelmus (national anthem). The King and other members of the Royal House salute the colour of the Royal Netherlands Marines Corps (the most ancient regiment in the Dutch armed forces) and mount the Ridderzaal’s steps, above which hangs a canopy.
The president of the Senate presides over the joint session. Shortly before 13:00, he opens the meeting and then appoints a number of ushers from among the members of the two Houses to escort the King and his entourage. On this occasion, male MPs wear their most formal dress, while female MPs try to outdo each other with extravagant hats.

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The ushers receive the King and the members of the Royal House at the entrance to the Ridderzaal. The president of the joint session then announces the arrival of the head of state: a signal for all those present to stand. The King then proceeds to the throne, from where he delivers his Speech from the Throne. In his capacity of (formal) head of the Government he announces the plans for the new parliamentary year. The King’s Speech is not written by the King, but by the Prime Minister and the cabinet.
When the Speech is finished, the speaker of the Senate proclaims “‘Leve de koning!” (“Long live the King!”) which is answered by everyone present with “Hoera! Hoera! Hoera!” This brings an end to the joint session of the two houses. The ushers escort the King and members of the Royal House to the door. The president then closes the session.
When the King leaves the Ridderzaal, the escort of honour again forms in the Binnenhof, and the procession returns to Noordeinde Palace where he traditionally salutes the gathered crowd from the balcony.

Queen Maxima Of The Netherlands Opened The Congress Day Of The Youth Professional in Utrecht

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Queen Máxima opened the congress ‘The Day of Youth Professionals’ at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. It is the first time that such a meeting is organized for professionals working in youth care and youth protection.

Based on the theme ‘From Dream to Do’, professionals registered with the Foundation for Quality Register Youth (SKJ) and representatives of professional associations on professional registration and disciplinary law, occupational professions, conscience and dilemmas and professionalism in daily practice.

Queen Máxima opened the conference and attends an interview session. It discusses the content of the relationship with the client, the quality of the profession, the position of the professionals as an employee or zzp-er, and the cooperation with other professionals. Subsequently, she spoke with some professionals and representatives of professional associations.

King Willem- Alexander at celebrations 50th anniversary Koppert Biological Systems

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King Willem- Alexander wass present at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Koppert Biological Systems in Berkel and Rodenrijs. The company focuses on biological crop protection and conservation of cultivation. On the occasion of the anniversary, the King opened the newly developed ‘Experience Center’.
The family business started fifty years ago with organic crop protection in horticulture.
The idea was to fight so-called ‘plague insects’ that attack crops with natural enemies instead of chemical agents. The company has now grown into an international company with 25 subsidiaries.

The King began the visit with the opening of the Experience Center, an information center developed for growers, research institutions, students and governments at home and abroad. In an interactive way, they gain insight into the vision of the company, research and development and the production process. After the opening, the King has met with a number of staff and was present at the opening of the International Jubilee Seminar.

King Willem- Alexander Patron Dutch Bible Society

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King Willem-Alexander is the patron of the Dutch Bible Society (NBG). Queen Beatrix was the patron of the NBG until her abdication.
Prince Willem II was the first patron of the Dutch Bible Society. The patron function was sequenced by King Willem III, Queen Regent Emma, Queen Wilhelmina, Queen Juliana and Queen Beatrix.
The Dutch Bible Society (NBG) is an association of over 120,000 enthusiastic members and 1,430 volunteers.
The Dutch Bible Society brings the Bible close to people, for 200 years. Together with members and donors, we allow people at home and abroad to discover, experience and pass the Bible. We do that for future generations, in other languages and in new forms.

The NBG is there for anyone who finds the Bible relevant and wants to derive meaning for his or her life.

The Duke Of Cambridge Visits Liverpool

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The day in Liverpool included opening a new Urgent Care and Trauma Centre at Aintree University Hospital and a visit to Life Rooms which is run by one of the leading mental health trusts in the UK. The Duke ended his trip by watching water activities involving three patronages of His Royal Highness at the Guinea Gap Leisure Centre

The Duke of Cambridge made a series of visits around Liverpool. First he opened the new Urgent Care and Trauma Centre (UCAT) at Aintree University Hospital – the new unit, which features a charity funded air ambulance helicopter landing pad, serves around 2.3 million residents its catchment area of in the North West.

The Duke met clinical staff and toured the Emergency, Major Trauma, Resuscitation and the Observation Units, before meeting some of the elderly patients at the Frailty Assessment Unit.

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Afterwards The Duke met specialists who run the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Life Rooms in Walton – a community hub and home for the Recovery College.

Over 16,000 people have benefited from the Life Rooms, which aims to challenge the stigma around metal health and promotes positive mental health, learning and wellbeing. The Duke met some of them that were at the centre today and learnt about how they receive one to one advice sessions on finances, addiction, and employment at Life Rooms. The Duke also learnt how the centre provides a space for community groups to meet and for people to share their common experiences.

As one of the leading mental health trusts in the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is one of the leading mental health trusts in the country, and their work was highlighted to The Duke during the Heads Together campaign earlier this year.

In the last stop during his day in Liverpool, The Duke of Cambridge visited the Guinea Gap Leisure Centre to watch activities involving three related patronages of His Royal Highness – the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC), English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) and Swim England (formally Amateur Swimming Association).

After chatting to divers, children from Wallasey Swimming Club showcased Swim England’s ‘Learn to Swim’ programme and BSAC’s snorkelling and diving activities. Before leaving, there was just enough time for The Duke to catch the ESSA water polo session in action.