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Special Committee established for Upcoming Royal Family Visit

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – A special committee has been established to organize the activities for the royal visit to Sint Maarten.

 

The National Organizing Committee (NOC) Royal Visit 2023 comprises of five members: Cassandra Janssen (Chairperson), Emilia Connor-Thomas (Secretary), Catherine Arrindell-Conner, Fabiana Vanterpool-Arnell and Aide-de-camp to the Governor, Frens Hartgers.

 

An advance-team visited the island last December to facilitate and aid in the coordination of the royal visit with the NOC in order to help ensure it is a successful one.

 

Governor Baly said in a press statement that it would be an honor to host the Royal family and showcase St. Martin’s rich heritage and hospitality. The visit will be "in the spirit of

Sint Maarten's culture, nature, resilience and tenacity as well as our bond with the Royal Family and the Kingdom of the Netherlands."

 

Visit to Caribbean part of the Kingdom – program

 

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima last visited Sint Maarten in 2013. This will be Her Royal Highness Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, first visit to Sint Maarten, during which time she will be introduced to the islands within the Kingdom. 

 

The royal party will pay a visit to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from Friday 27 January to Thursday 9 February 2023. They will visit Bonaire, Aruba and Curaçao before continuing to Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba.

 

The visit is intended to introduce the Princess of Orange to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. The islands have put together a program covering such topics as culture, nature, colonial history, sports and defense operations, and including meetings with island residents. The royal party will be accompanied by State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalization Alexandra van Huffelen.

 

Sint Maarten, Monday 6 February

The King and Queen and the Princess of Orange will be welcomed at Princess Juliana International Airport by His Excellency Governor Ajamu Baly and Honorable Prime Minister of Sint Maarten Silveria Jacobs. The first day of the visit will focus on the country’s reconstruction following the devastation caused by hurricane Irma in September 2017. The royal party will view the airport which is currently still being rebuilt. During a visit to the emergency and disaster response services, the King and Queen and the Princess of Orange will assist in a disaster exercise. They will then visit the Sint Maarten Medical Center. This hospital plays a key role in the region and also treats many patients from the neighboring islands. The King, Queen and Princess will speak to patients and will be updated on the expansion of the hospital. They will then have lunch with the cabinet.

 

In the afternoon the royal party will be taken on the Color Me SXM mural walk in Philipsburg. These murals are designed to brighten up Philipsburg, as many of the town’s buildings are still vacant or damaged following the hurricane. The day will conclude with lively displays of Sint Maarten’s culture along a walking route and a concert on the Boardwalk in Philipsburg.

 

Sint Maarten, Tuesday 7 February

In the morning the King and Queen and the Princess of Orange will visit Fort Amsterdam. Here they will go on a birding excursion in search of the brown pelican, the island’s national bird. They will also learn about the fort’s history. They will then meet members of parliament and youth parliament. At the White and Yellow Cross residential home for the elderly and people with a disability, the royal party will learn more about the daytime activities organized for residents. Next, they will visit a science fair, where primary and secondary school pupils will present their solutions for reducing plastic waste on the island.

 

In the afternoon the King and Queen and the Princess of Orange will visit Resources for Community Resilience (R4CR). R4CR disburses World Bank funds to projects aimed at rebuilding Sint Maarten after hurricane Irma via the Trust Fund. The party will speak with representatives of civil society organizations about their projects and with young people about their work at various organizations. They will then visit a school garden project where they will talk to pupils about their work in the garden and the importance of gardening for their mental health. At Emilio Wilson Historical Park students will talk about their dreams for the future of Sint Maarten and plant the yellow sage, the island’s national flower. Following this the King and Queen and the Princess of Orange will visit St. Peters Hill, where they will learn about nature conservation in Sint Maarten. This hill borders on the French part of the island. The afternoon will conclude with a youth baseball tournament.

 

In the evening the party will attend a reception hosted by His Excellency Governor Ajamu Baly.

 

Further details of the schedule will be provided as the arrival of the Royal Family nears.

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