King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands had to cancel his planned visit to San Francisco after contracting pneumonia and was advised against travelling. But a visit by the Castro will take place, as Queen Máxima will make the trip with cabinet ministers, Dutch officials said.
According to the Royal House of the Netherlands, Queen Máxima and other officials will still be visiting the United States and “carrying out the program elements already planned”.
“The King is recovering from pneumonia and air travel at this time could hamper a full recovery,” a press release said. “The King’s engagements in the Netherlands will not be affected by this decision and will continue as planned, albeit on a more limited scale.”
Castro’s tour scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 6 is continuing, Vincent Storimans, vice consul general of the Dutch consulate in San Francisco, said in an email. Storimans, a gay man who spoke about the upcoming visit in the Bay Area Reporter this week, said the delegation will also attend planned events at Stanford, Berkeley, UCSF and Google, as well as a cocktail party at the hotel. of town of San Francisco with 700 expected guests.
Royal Central said the Queen is expected to travel accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation; the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports; the Minister of Education, Culture and Science; the Minister of Economic Affairs, Communication and Sustainable Development of Aruba; Aruba’s Minister of Public Health and Tourism; and the Secretary of State for Infrastructure and Water Management.
Further details on the schedule of activities during the trip will be announced once arrangements have been made taking into account the king’s absence, the online news site reported.
The trip will take place from September 6 to 9 and will take the Dutch delegation to California and Texas to discuss, among other things, the impact of climate change on populations, potential solutions to the energy crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions and transatlantic cooperation.
As BAR reported, the royal tour of the city’s LGBQ neighborhood is set to begin at the GLBT Historical Society Museum and continue to the Castro Theater and Twin Peaks Tavern. At the Tavern, the Queen will meet briefly with leaders of San Francisco’s LGBTQ community, District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman; Tyler TerMeer, Ph.D., CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation; Rebecca Rolf, executive director of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center; and Imani Rupert-Gordon, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
“It’s exciting that they’ve chosen the Bay Area to visit and are reaching out to local LGBTQ community leaders to not only show them around some of our most historic places here in Castro, but also to sit down and discuss what’s going on here in our community,” TerMeer said before the king’s cancellation was reported.
TerMeer, a 39-year-old gay man of Dutch ancestry, was eager to speak with the royal family about HIV/AIDS issues here in the United States and learn more about the Netherlands’ response to the epidemic and to other public health threats to the LGBTQ community, he said.
Andrew Shaffer, a gay man who is the historical society’s interim co-executive director, said he was excited about the tour despite the change in plans.
“We can’t wait to show off her majesty in the museum,” he wrote in an email.
Mandelman took the news with ease.
“The Castro loves queens,” he joked Thursday. “I can’t wait to meet her and take a walk and wish the king a speedy recovery.”
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