The Duchess of diplomacy: Kate set to become Britain’s secret weapon in ‘beefing up’ relationships with EU nations during the Brexit
- Duchess of Cambridge will make a solo visit to the Netherlands tomorrow
- UK contemplating process of negotiating trade deals with each EU state
- Kate will meet King Willem-Alexander at official residence in The Hague
The Duchess of Cambridge will become Britain’s secret weapon in attempts to ‘beef up’ relationships with EU countries during Brexit, former diplomats said yesterday
Kate will make a solo visit to the Netherlands tomorrow as Britain contemplates the process of negotiating trade deals with every EU member state.
The country is one of Britain’s biggest trading partners, but has not received a visit from a senior member of the Royal family for three years.
The Duchess will meet King Willem-Alexander at his official residence, Villa Eikenhorst, in The Hague before carrying out other official duties in the country.
It is likely to be the first in a regular stream of royal visits to European countries by members of the Royal family as the Government deploys them to help ‘beef up’ relations with each state.
Royal visits are undertaken at the request of the Foreign Office, following invitations from host countries for the Queen or other members of the Royal family to pay a visit.
Strengthening trade links with countries such as India, China and countries in the Middle East is one of the goals of royal tours.
Until now, there has been little need for visits to European countries because of Britain’s membership of the European single market.
European trips have largely been restricted to war commemoration events or other specific anniversaries.
That may change as British politicians look for all the help they can get during Brexit negotiations.
The Netherlands is Britain’s third-biggest export market, after the US and Germany, accounting for £27.7 billion in exported goods.
During a solo visit to the Netherlands, Kate will meet King Willem-Alexander at his official residence, Villa Eikenhorst, in The Hague before carrying out other official duties in the country
Royal visits are undertaken at the request of the Foreign Office, following invitations from host countries for the Queen or other members of the Royal family to pay a visit
And the UK buys £41billion of goods from the Netherlands every year, making it the third biggest importer after Germany and China.
One a former British ambassador, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: ‘The need for embassies to build bilateral relations has come back into play as a result of the Brexit vote.
'During our EU membership partners have been cultivated in Brussels by ministers, not in capital cities.
‘But that is changing and we need to start beefing up our bilateral relationships with EU countries. Those links need to become stronger and the Royal family is a very potent force in that exercise.
‘It would not surprise me if we see more trips to Europe by members of the Royal family because there are 27 countries and we will want to let them know that we haven’t left the scene.’
Former ambassador Oliver Miles, who served in the diplomatic service for 36 years, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘It’s obvious that the Duchess is going to play this part in the future and this is a good way to start because relations with the Netherlands are good, partly because of the friendship between the two royal families.’
During the tour, Kate will visit the capital’s Mauritshuis art gallery to promote an exhibition of Dutch paintings owned by the Queen, as well as a mental health conference and a brief stop at a community project in Rotterdam.
Most watched News videos
- CCTV captures final tragic moments of Mirna Salihin's life
- Mother shaves daughters hair after she 'bullies cancer girl'
- GRAPHIC CONTENT: 'Ghost' rises from body after fatal crash
- Bulls head butt each other then die instantly from brutal blow
- Shocking moment girl gets viciously beaten after starting fight
- Mother releases devastating footage of son's final moments
- Lorry smashes into car leaving driver with severe injuries
- Is this the creepy moment the corpse of a girl OPENS her eyes?
- 'Big fat gypsy wedding' in Romania goes on for FOUR days
- Groom ALREADY tired of marriage life just after 15 minutes
- 'Pascal's a G!' Kim Kardashian speaks well of her bodyguard
- GoPro captures the moment a croc swims amongst swimmers