The King and Queen of The Netherlands are visiting Australia this week to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog’s landing in WA.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima are beginning their visit in Perth, where they will unveil the historic Hartog plate at the official opening of the Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World exhibition at the WA Maritime Museum on Monday.
October 25 marked four centuries since Hartog landed at what is now known as Cape Inscription on the northwestern tip of WA’s largest and most western isle, which was named after him.
He left a pewter plate inscribed with details of his voyage and landfall, but another Dutch navigator, Willem de Vlamingh, discovered the plate 81 years later and replaced it with his own.
Hartog’s plate was taken back to the Netherlands but is now back in WA on loan from Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.
On Tuesday, the royal couple will head to Ascot racecourse to watch the Melbourne Cup.
On Wednesday, they will be in Canberra to lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and attend a state lunch hosted by Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.
They will also speak to Australian officials involved in the response to the downing of MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukraine on July 17, 2014.
The royal couple will also visit Sydney and Brisbane, before travelling to New Zealand from November 7 to 9.