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The Royal Dutch family to visit Grand Rapids this week

Courtesy photo
Dutch Royal House

The king and queen of the Netherlands are planning a visit to Grand Rapids this week.

Back in the 19th century, many Dutch immigrants took off for West Michigan looking for work and religious freedom. There’s still a huge population of Dutch immigrants and their descendants living in Holland, Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Kalamazoo.

On Tuesday, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will visit Grand Rapids. Governor Rick Snyder will join the pair as they visit the Van Andel Institute and Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

It's Willem-Alexander's first official visit to the U.S. as monarch. He became king in 2013.

The Dutch embassy says the Netherlands is among the top five investors in the U.S. economy, supporting 685,000 U.S. jobs. The trip is meant to "underscore the friendship" between the two countries.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.