Route royal visitors

This is the route the royal family will walk across the city centre of Groningen on Friday April 27th 2018, between 11 am and 1 pm.

Welcome to my Groningen!

The Dutch king Willem-Alexander and his family are visiting the city of Groningen on King’s Day, Friday April 27th 2018. During this visit we will present the city and the province of Groningen as seen by various inhabitants of Groningen. The programme during the royal family’s 2-hour walk across the inner city of Groningen consists of the following components:


Mayor Peter den Oudsten and King’s Commissioner René Paas welcome the royal family at the monumental gate of the Prinsenhof.

Mayor Peter den Oudsten Mayor Peter den Oudsten
Commissioner René Paas Commissioner René Paas


Children’s mayor Javano Zwiers and deputy children’s mayor Roselyn Martina Children’s mayor Javano Zwiers and deputy children’s mayor Roselyn Martina

After an opening act the children’s mayor Javano Zwiers and deputy children’s mayor Roselyn Martina will present ‘their’ Groningen to the king. At Martinikerkhof young talents from the city and province of Groningen take part in various workshops within the scope of culture, sport, innovation and technology. Young soccer players will be trained by national coach Ronald Koeman, who grew up in Groningen. Other children will experiment with new techniques, such as 3D-printers, robots and drones. Near the Martinikerk (church) young artists will try to paint portraits of each other, in a way members of the Groningen artists’ collective De Ploeg did some 100 years ago.


In the Martinikerk (church) we present the rich culture of Groningen of which we are genuinely proud. The royal family will experience Groningen through the eyes of Ola Mafaalani, stage director and former manager of theatre company NNT. In the church they will be able to enjoy music played by the North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra NNO and a short dance performance by Club Guy & Roni against the background of a large work of art by David LaChapelle, normally exhibited in the Groninger Museum. The Groningen Bellringers’ Guild will ring the chimes as the royal family leaves the church.

Ola Mafaalani Ola Mafaalani

Grote Markt

Mayor of Loppersum, Albert Rodenboog Mayor of Loppersum, Albert Rodenboog
Denise Kasova Denise Kasova

On the Grote Markt the mayor of Loppersum, Albert Rodenboog, will discuss the problems with regard to earth quakes in Groningen. The royal family will meet a number of victims here. But we also look at the future. Denise Kasova, general manager of the Nothern Innovation Board, presents various young and innovative companies that are way ahead in the field of sustainability and the transition to new kinds of energy.


Here Marcel Nijhof, inhabitant of Groningen, also known as ‘Roege Boy,’ will introduce the royal family to ‘his’ Groningen. The royal family members will meet socially conscious and committed citizens of Groningen. Several social initiatives will present themselves in a catwalk show accompanied by music. Inhabitants of Groningen who have been decorated this year will be put in the limelight. Brownies & DownieS arranges for tasty goodies.

When walking from the Waagplein to the Broerplein the royal family will encounter lots of dancers, musicians and bands, representing the lively pop culture in Groningen.

Marcel Nijhof Marcel Nijhof


Lieke Knip Lieke Knip

At the beginning of the Broerstraat the royal family meets Topsport Groningen. Students with a so-called A-status will present themselves in an interactive sports event. At the Broerplein former chairwoman of the KEI (students’ orientation week), Lieke Knip, presents ‘her’ Groningen to the royal family. She will be accompanied with a large variety of students on the steps of the Academiegebouw. Together they form the background of a mini-lecture.

After the mini-lecture the royal family continues on their way to meet with another aspect of Groningen: university life. They will be welcomed by the biggest student choir of Groningen, accompanied by accordionist Gerrie Bruin from Bedum. Together they will perform the song ‘Het gras van het Noorderplantsoen’ (Grass of the Noorderplantsoen).


In the Stoeldraaierstraat internet entrepreneur Ben Woldring, who grew up in Usquert, will show ‘his’ Groningen to the royal family. They will be introduced to several young and innovative businesses in the province of Groningen, but also to big international companies that have settled here. The province of Groningen is a region with a great many opportunities in te field of innovation, recreation and development.

Ben Woldring Ben Woldring

Grand finale op de Vismarkt

Arnold Veeman Arnold Veeman

The royal visit ends at the Vismarkt where singer-songwriter Arnold Veeman from Kloosterburen will perform. Accompanied by the Noordpool Orkest and several other artists from Groningen, such as singer Izaline Calister, he will sing: ‘Mien Grunneger stad’ (Groningen, my hometown).

The royal part of the programme will end with a closing act typical of self-willed Groningen. After the national anthem (Wilhelmus) has been played, the royal family will leave Groningen.

Of course, the King’s Day celebrations will continue for some time!

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