Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, is in Australia for the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments. She is not the only Caribbean head of state in attendance, but the others were neither as colorfully dressed nor caught in such a charming pose with the Queen. In the photo, Queen Elizabeth smiles next to Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (left), Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Kamla in Perth on Friday.
Meanwhile, Her Royal Majesty (doesn’t that sound grand) Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander and his wife, Princess Maxima, are visiting Aruba from October 27-29, enjoying some free time filled with visits from the Crown’s representative on Aruba, Governor Fredis Refunjol and dignitaries, inspection of various government projects and visits to several organizations. Aruba is their first stop in a tour of the Dutch Caribbean.
The Royal family (with the Queen wearing one of her habitual cake hats) were officially welcomed by Prime Minister Mike Eman. After attending a private gala hosted by Governor Refunjol, their official public schedule began with an inspection of an Honor Guard of the Royal Dutch Marines and the Aruba Militia Isn’t Maxima’s hat grand?), followed by a meeting with Ministers and Parliamentarians at the Government House. A festive event was held at the new Linear Park showcasing the diverse cultures of many of Aruba’s expatriate communities. On the final day of her visit, HRM Queen Beatrix will be escorted to Arikok National Park, followed by a tour of the “Bo Bario” beautification project taking place in the Juwana Morto neighborhood of San Nicolas. Later, she and HRH Princess Maxima will visit the headquarters of “Fundacion Hende Muhe den Dificultad” (Foundation for Battered Women) while the Prince of Orange addresses the Aruba Green Energy Conference at the Renaissance Convention Center. In the early evening, they will board a plane for Bonaire.
Also taking place this week is the signing of the TNO contract for a center for alternative and sustainable energy, the inauguration of the House of Europe, and the commencement of the Rietveld Art Academy.