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Dutch News
Elizabeth greets Beatrix with a kiss 2/7/2007
Britain''s Queen Elizabeth greeted Queen Beatrix of Holland with a kiss on the cheek at Rotterdam airport yesterday (05.02.07).

The pair are old family friends and so dispensed with formality when Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip were welcomed by Beatrix on their arrival in the country.

The monarchs shared a private lunch before Elizabeth and the prince visited the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

They then attended a service held at the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam to mark its 400th anniversary.

Beatrix and Elizabeth''s close friendship goes back many years.

When the Dutch Queen was just two-years-old she was evacuated, along with the rest of the Dutch Royal Family, in the HMS Codrington, sent by Elizabeth''s father King George VI following the Nazi invasion of Holland.

Beatrix has been reigning monarch since her mother Juliana abdicated in 1980 and regularly visits Britain.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth will today (06.02.07) hold a private celebration at Sandringham - her Norfolk estate - to mark the 55th year of her accession to the throne.

The King''s Troop will also fire a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park and a 62-gun salute will be carried out at the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company.

The queen ascended to the throne on 6 February 1952 when her father, King George VI, passed away at Sandringham after losing his battle to lung cancer.

Elizabeth was away in Kenya at the time. She was informed of her accession while at the Sagana Hunting Lodge, in the foothills of Mount Kenya.

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