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Maxima, her bump clearly visible, arrives at Ankara airport. The couple's third child is due in late April
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The princess raises a glass with the Turkish president at a gala dinner in honour of the visitors
Photo: © Getty Images

Expectant Maxima keeps up a busy schedule in Turkey

28 FEBRUARY 2007

Despite being heavily pregnant, Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, who is expecting her baby in April, flew into Ankara on Tuesday with her husband Prince Willem-Alexander and Queen Beatrix for a four-day state visit of Turkey.

The group will be touring the country and spending time with Turkey's President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

Obviously conscious of her imminent delivery date, seven-months pregnant Maxima had taken the precaution of including a handful of Dutch soil in her luggage. Netherlands tradition states that the first soil to touch a royal child's feet must be Dutch - something which the party was clearly keen to facilitate should the new arrival put in an early appearance.

At the airport the royal party was greeted by children waving flags and singing "Long live the Queen!". It is the first time a Dutch queen has visited Turkey, and the monarch is scheduled to participate in a series of discussions aimed at improving trade and commerce between the two countries.

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