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Queen Máxima of the Netherlands visits a gay bar in San Francisco

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands visits the Castro
Photo: Screenshot

San Francisco’s LGBTQ neighborhood, called The Castro, had a brush with royalty this week when Queen Máxima of the Netherlands visited the area and spoke about LGBTQ rights.

It was the first time in 17 years that royalty visited San Francisco. Queen Máxima received a warm welcome as she spent her time touring the Castro Theatre and the GLBT Historical Society Museum. She also eagerly greeted a group of drag performers who were waiting to see her as she walked by.

She even went to a gay bar, the historic Twin Peaks Tavern, where she met with the city’s Mayor, London Breed, among other community leaders.

“The Netherlands and San Francisco share so many things in common, but the support to the LGBT community, it is something we feel so strongly about,” the queen said in a press conference. “And I’m here to not only learn about your history but also to learn from each other.”

“We have to make our world equal for everybody so that everybody feels at home wherever they live. This is something we take very serious in the Netherlands, and we’re extremely happy to see how it’s been developed here in San Francisco with your leadership, but also the leadership of this amazing community.”

The Netherlands has a long history of supporting LGBTQ people. In 2001, it became the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage.

“We know that same-sex marriage originated in the Netherlands,” Mayor Breed told the press. “We like to talk about San Francisco and how we are the mecca, but we have a sister in the Netherlands in how they promote and push for things to support this extraordinary community.”

Breed also emphasized the need to “maintain this extraordinary partnership” and added that she is “so glad when it comes to the rights of the LGBTQ community, we all come together, we stand in solidarity, and we make magic happen, and so that’s why it’s so great to be here with the queen.”

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