There was applause for queen Beatrix at yesterday evening’s ceremony to remember those who died in World War II at Amsterdam’s war memorial on the Dam.
During his speech, the city’s mayor Job Cohen said that ‘happily, our queen is with us’. At that moment, spontaneous applause broke out across the square. The applause, unique in the history of Remembrance Day, brought a slight smile to Beatrix’s lips, Trouw reported.
It was Beatrix’s first formal engagement since the attack on the royal motorcade during the Queen’s Day celebrations in Apeldoorn on Thursday, which left seven people dead.
Crown prince Willem-Alexander and princess Máxima were also at the service in the Nieuwe Kerk. The queen and her oldest son laid a wreath at the war memorial together. Afterwards, at 8pm, there was two minutes silence.
Security had been stepped up in the capital. Police had the right to stop and search people approaching the square, the use of balconies was banned and there were sharpshooters on the roofs, Trouw said.
Nevertheless, some 20,000 people attended the ceremony on the Dam, the Volkskrant reported.
New-Guinea war veteran Ben Hendriks told Trouw it was a question of honour. ‘I am right behind the Netherlands and the royal family. I am pleased the queen is here.’
Gusta Olivier Vonk, a former resistance fighter, told the paper it was right that the royal family had not hidden away. ‘That would have made a bad impression and give more people weird ideas,’ she told the paper.