By Meghan Morris
THE HAGUE, the Netherlands — The king and queen of the Netherlands will visit Chicago June 2-3 to meet with leaders in business, healthcare and community organizations.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima are visiting the country for three days in their first trip to America since the king succeeded his mother to become the monarch in 2013. Their visit celebrates the economic and historic ties between the countries: The U.S. is the biggest country investor in the Netherlands, and the Dutch still honor their American liberators of World War II.
The royal couple’s three-day visit to the United States begins in Washington, D.C., where they will meet with President Barack Obama and go to Arlington National Cemetery. They continue to Grand Rapids, Mich., the state with the largest Dutch-American population.
In Chicago, the king and queen will dine with Dutch-American business leaders and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. They will also visit the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.
After their time downtown, they’ll go to the South Side to view the rooftop greenhouse on top of Method Products’ new factory in Pullman. The Netherlands is a leading exporter of sustainable agriculture technology, including the seeds and climate control system used in the greenhouse, which opened last month.
The royals will end their time in Chicago with a visit to an agriculture conference in Pullman on June 3. The conference is hosted by Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, where the couple will also meet with community organizers to learn about Chicago’s efforts to help struggling communities.
Meghan Morris is reporting from the Netherlands as part of a Dutch embassy-sponsored trip for journalists.