Ninety-two-year-old Canberra lace-maker Petronella Wensing held hands with the glamorous Queen Maxima of the Netherlands in the national capital on Wednesday as she told the Dutch royals her story of migrating from Holland to Australia in 1953.
"Deep inside, you don't lose your Dutch heritage, it's there," she said.
Mrs Wensing wore a suit she made herself, embroidered with Australian wildflowers, to meet Queen Maxima, the Argentinian-born monarch appropriate in an orange lace dress, and King Willem-Alexander, at the National Archives of Australia.
As part of their flying, one-day visit to Canberra, the royal couple viewed records from some of the 160,000 Dutch nationals who migrated to Australia between 1951 and 1970.
They are in Australia to celebrate 400 years since Dutch sea captain Dirk Hartog set foot on Australian soil on an island off the coast of Western Australia.
They also visited the Australian War Memorial, Government House and Parliament House, where they laid flowers at a memorial for Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and met with officials investigating the plane which was shot down in the Ukraine in 2014 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Later, ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja helped escort them through the archives, Australia's storehouse of memories, before they flew to Sydney.
The archives' director-general, David Fricker, presented the couple with a still from an audio-visual record from 1930 of the Dutch fleet visiting Sydney, with the Harbour Bridge in the background.
The laidback 49-year-old King replied: "Thank you very much for receiving us and giving us these wonderful stories of all these people from so many walks of life who found their Dutch roots in Australian soil."
Among the other people to meet the royals were broadcaster Stephanie Brantz, whose parents migrated from Holland in 1966; Fremantle Dockers AFL player Matt de Boer, whose grandparents migrated in 1952, and Ainslie retired electrician Gerard van Wezel, 92, who came to Australia in 1952 and worked on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme.
Mr Van Wezel's wife of 57 years, Marretje, playfully grabbed him by the coat-tails and pulled him away from the royals as he got to talking but was also proud of her "very humble" husband.
Ms Brantz, who at 182cms definitely got her height from her Dutch heritage, was astounded to read the detail of the archives' records on her parents arrival to Australia, including some candid comments about the racial background of her father, who is half Indonesian.
"It's mind-blowing. I haven't seen them before," she said. "I've flown mum and dad down from Brisbane for this today and it's exciting for them to have the King and Queen out here, but for me, the fascination is the documents."
Also at the archives was singer Sherry Wright who arrived in Australia from Holland in 1950 as Berta Johanna van Weely but was told, when she started appearing on television shows, that her name was "too ethnic".
But the Queen was having none of that, declaring: "I'm going to call her Berta."
A lone protester outside the archives used a megaphone to call on the royals to ask their government to apologise to the people of West Papua, a one-time Dutch colony, for the "slaughter of its people by the Indonesian government".
The royals' Australian visit continues in Sydney on Thursday.