Fix Perspective

Dutch Hold Royal Celebration For New King

Caroline Nelissen / youthjournalism.org

 

Crowds, adorned in orange, gather each year for Queen’s Day in the Netherlands, a tradition that is changing now that the country has a king.

 

 By Caroline Nelissen
Senior Correspondent
Youth Journalism International
AMSTERDAM, The
Netherlands – There are few things I can think of that are as typically Dutch
as our Koninginnedag, or Queen’s Day, celebration. On this national holiday,
people dress up in bright orange clothes, hats and sunglasses and there are
festivities and flea markets around the country.
 

All of this happened
today as well, but this year’s Queen’s day was one like no other.

For one, it will be a
long time before we have a national holiday called “Queen’s Day” again: from
next year onward, we will be celebrating “King’s Day” instead.
Caroline Nelissen / youthjournalism.org

A Dutch flag on display for Queen’s Day in Holland.

On April 30, Queen
Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated from the throne, and the nation
inaugurated her son Prince Willem-Alexander as the new king in a ceremony in
the Nieuwe Kerk, or New Church, in Amsterdam.

He is the first male
successor to the throne since King Willem III, who died in 1890.
On the central Dam Square
in Amsterdam, scores of people gathered Tuesday morning to watch the abdication
of the former queen and in the afternoon the inauguration of the new king on large
screens.
While the Dutch aren’t
exactly known for being a passionate people, there seems to be something about
royal events like this that unleash an enthusiasm in Dutch people that is
matched only by the celebrations that take place when the Dutch national soccer
team is playing.
Caroline Nelissen / youthjournalism.org

 

Orange balloon hats, twisted into crowns, are
among 

the festive headwear for Queen’s Day.

 

 

Caroline Nelissen / youthjournalism.org

 

Expect more orange
next year 

on King’s Da

 

y

 

 

in the Netherlands

 

 

 

Of course, not everyone
was excited: some people believe the concept of royalty – even though the Dutch
royal family has no real political power – is outdated and should be abolished.
However, while there were a few people holding up protest signs, the vast
majority of the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves, cheering loudly when
King Willem-Alexander was introduced as the new king, alongside his wife, Queen
Máxima.

It still feels a bit
strange to speak of “King Willem-Alexander,” “Queen Máxima” and “Princess
Beatrix” after having used different titles my entire life, and celebrating
“King’s Day” from next year onward will surely take some getting used to.
However, regardless of
these changes, there is at least one thing we can count on: there will be orange.