Celebrating the new king will cost Amsterdam €7m, says mayor

The celebrations in Amsterdam to mark the inauguration of king Willem-Alexander on April 30 will cost the city €7m, mayor Eberhard van der Laan said on Wednesday. 

The ceremony and celebrations coincide with the annual Queen’s Day festivities, causing an extra headache for officials, who are in talks with national government about shouldering the cost. The city is also hoping for sponsors, Van der Laan said.

Nevertheless, the mayor said the city is determined the celebrations will be open to everyone and Queen’s Day, traditionally attended by 800,000 people in the capital, will proceed as usual.

Balcony 

The official part of the event will centre on the Dam in the centre of the city and will start with the royal family appearing on the balcony of the palace at 10.30 hours. Some 25,000 people are expected to pack into the square to catch a glimpse of the new king.

‘We have to ensure not everyone comes to the Dam and will carry out active crowd management,’ Van der Laan said. ‘Thousands of police officers will be involved to make sure everything goes smoothly.’

Parts of the Dam and surrounding areas will be closed off to the public, but stories about a ban on alcohol and closing hotels with windows on the Dam are ‘myths’, the mayor said.

Boat

After the formal ceremony in the Nieuwe Kerk at 14.00 hours, the new king and guests will return to the palace for a party. Then from 18.30, the royal family will take part in a boat trip from the EYE film museum in Noord to the Amstel. ‘It will be a party for young and old,’ Van der Laan said.

The day will end with a ball on the Museum square featuring romantic tunes and music from musicals. Parties will also be sanctioned elsewhere in the city. On a normal Queen’s Day, the festivities are supposed to wind down from 21.00 hours. 

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