Crown prince Willem-Alexander is a real sport fan. He seems to be everywhere at the Olympics.
No matter what the event, if Holland is competing, the prince is there – usually with a hat, scarf or tie in the country’s national colour orange.
On Monday, for example, he went to the swimming, the fencing, water polo and rowing. And if he isn’t there physically he can be usually found watching the events on a huge screen in the Dutch hospitality centre, the Holland Heineken House.
The thing is, instead of following the sport in the normally reserved and dignified royal fashion, Willem-Alexander jumps off his seat, partakes of Mexican waves and if at all possible, bear hugs the sportsmen and women.
At the hospitality house, he dances on the stage, accompanied by his equally effervescent Argentine wife princess Maxima.
The prince used to mocked as ‘prince pils (beer)’ for his laddish behaviour as a young man. He has now grown up a bit, but has obviously kept his informal approach to life.
Apart from the jealousy his privileges may provoke (he gets the best seat at any sporting event he wants to attend) and the embarrassment at his gushing enthusiasm, Dutch sport fans must be praying for the day he ascends to the throne.
With a king of sport and a tango dancing queen at his side, Holland is going to have one hell of a monarchy.
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