Royal attack: the end of an illusion

The attack on the royal family during the Queen’s Day celebrations means the day will never be the same again, according to editorials and comment in the Dutch newspapers.

‘A national illusion died in Apeldoorn,’ is the headline on a Volkskrant article on the attack. ‘We will never see it like this again, a queen and her family, free and approachable… A national illusion died on April 30, 2009… the party of folklore – the only real national day of celebration – has been hit hard.’
‘The collection of curiosities in the category ‘only in the Netherlands’ is one attraction poorer. Foreigners who are surprised by ministers who cycle to their offices, a prime minister eating a herring alone at the fish stall next to parliament – it is all gone,’ the paper states.
Symbol of unity
The Financieele Dagblad says events in Apeldoorn were an ‘attack on a vulnerable symbol of unity’.
‘Queen’s Day is the day when a deeply divided Netherlands celebrates that it still does know unity. An attack on that hits the fundamentals of our society,’ the paper writes.
‘The Netherlands is a land of minorities. It always has been,’ it goes on. ‘But alongside its relative prosperity and the necessary working together to protect it from destruction by the sea… there has been for centuries one factor which binds us – the Oranje dynasty.’

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