Dutch royalty ends Caribbean visit

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten, Monday November 7, 2011 – Three members of the royal family departed the island Sunday ending a 10-day visit to the Dutch Caribbean.

Queen Beatrix, her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Princess Máxima visited Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba.

The visit follows discontent among some islanders with the implementation of Dutch laws and the Dutch tax system.

During her trip, the monarch met with governors, prime ministers, ministers and members of parliament and with all the councilmen of the islands that became Dutch ‘cities’.

She said this trip sought to express the bond between the Netherlands and other parts of the Kingdom.

Queen Beatrix said she was happy with the progress made on each island of the former Netherlands Antilles, which was dismantled on October 10, 2010.

The Queen believes the islands offer new opportunities, particularly in the areas of health and education, the Daily HERALD newspaper stated.

Princess Máxima indicated that St. Maarten’s new constitutional status has given the country “positive potential”.

The country, she said, has grown stronger culturally and socially over the years. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)