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Queen talks Brexit for first time at dazzling state banquet for Dutch royals



The Queen has spoken publicly about Brexit for the first time, saying she is looking toward to a “new partnership with Europe”.

Speaking at a state banquet for the king and queen of the Netherlands, she said as “innovators, traders and internationalists we look with confidence to the future”.

The royals, including the Netherlands’ Queen Maxima, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall, put on a dazzling display of tiaras at the white-tie dinner at Buckingham Palace.

Queen Maxima (L) and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands join The Queen (C), Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander are making a two-day state visit
The Queen makes a toast during with King Willem-Alexander during the state banquet at Buckingham Palace
The Queen made a toast with the Dutch king

The Queen, who remains impartial on political matters, told the royals: “As we look toward a new partnership with Europe, it is our shared values and commitment to each other that are out greatest asset, and demonstrate that even through change, our enduring alliance remains strong, and as innovators, traders and internationalists we look with confidence to the future.”

In an earlier speech at the Houses of Parliament, King Willem-Alexander urged the government to lift the “shadow of uncertainty” hanging over Dutch nationals living in Britain after Brexit.

Kate Middleton wears a tiara that once belonged to Princess Diana
Kate Middleton wore a tiara that belonged to Princess Diana
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands wore the Stewart Tiara
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands wore the Stewart Tiara

He said: “At present, a lot of attention is focused on the technical side of Brexit. That’s understandable and necessary.

“But in the midst of all that complexity we should not lose sight of the greater narrative that continues to bind us”.

Prince William and other senior royals were at the dinner to mark the start of the two-day state visit.

Among the 150 guests were Prince Charles, Theresa May, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Princess Mabel – the widow of the Dutch king’s brother Prince Friso, who died in a skiing accident in 2013.

Kate, 36, wore a diamond and pearl tiara that once belonged to Princess Diana.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walks with Rear Admiral Ludger Brummelaar during the state banquet
The Duchess of Cambridge with Rear Admiral Ludger Brummelaar
The Queen delivered a speech during the state banquet to mark the visit of the Dutch royals
The white tie dinner was held at Buckingham Palace

She previously wore the piece, named the Cambridge Lover’s Knot, at the Spanish state banquet last year.

In tribute to the close links between the two royal families, Queen Maxima wore a famous tiara featuring the Stuart Diamond from the Dutch royal collection.

The large stone was originally bought in the late 17th century by British king William II, also the Netherlands’ Prince of Orange, for his wife Queen Mary II.

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