Youp van ‘t Hek: Bathing suit

Youp van ‘t Hek knows what’s on the queen’s mind.


Beatrix cuts a lonely figure as she stares out of the window. She used to matter. She should be busy on this day after the elections, with party chairmen chattering away nervously about their ideas and her having the final word..But now she’s at a loss. She thinks about her popular daughter-in-law who swam in an Amsterdam canal last Sunday. She never did anything like that. It would really be something if she did it now..

Meanwhile she wonders how it was that Maurice got it so terribly wrong. 20 seats! She knows why. People who said they would vote for Roemer and then saw Harry van Bommel fumble his way through Lingo, decided that Samsom it would be. Harry’s howlers were just too much to take. That’s how it happened. He predicted as much himself on De Wereld Draait Door. It must be nice to be able to get away with things. She thinks Maurice would make a good weatherman. Or head of train scheduling at NS. The intercity train to Groningen will leave at around twelve and may leave from one of the following platforms….she can’t help laughing at her own joke.


For one fleeting moment she feels sorry the election circus has left town but fortunately the coalition-making circus has just arrived. She won’t be part of it. Jack, Felix, Jort and Frits have parked their caravans near the studios of the Westergasfabriek to illuminate a matter far too complicated for Joe public to understand. They will explain to her people that Rutte would rather have Buma than Roemer and that Samsom prefers the SP. This is the kind of in-depth analysis they have been hired for. And they will explain that Pechtold is so anxious to be in on things that it doesn’t matter who asks him. Trix loves the simplicity of it all. She loves Pechtold. She knows him only too well. He’s hungry. A true Leiden university toff, like her son Alexander.

She must be one of the few who is genuinely concerned about Tofik. He’s a political has-been of course, but surely Hilversum won’t turn its back on this one-man personal pr machine? Trix would like to see him do a dance routine with Arjen Ederveen in a show that Ederveen, in a previous incarnation, would have parodied brilliantly. That’s artists for you. Did her eyes deceive her or did she see a former Jeugdjournaal newsreader work for an oldie tv station? And what’s to happen to Hero?  So much experience, vision, substance. She laughs softly. Maybe he can have a spot on Andries & Tijs. Or maybe he could, from time to time, put the right-wing view to Albert on Boulevard. More heads will roll in the coming months. Weathervane Leers and his young asylum seekers. And Maxime Verhagen. How she hated his catholic guts. What a crawler.

Donner on a bicycle

She gazes wistfully at her garden. No limo, no Donner on a bicycle. How she longs for him! But no, she thinks. No, no and no. I’m through. It’s the side lines for me. Crap! She only thinks the last bit. Queens don’t say this sort of thing out loud. Will they at least still join me on the steps of the palace? Or will I just be trotted out when they need someone to cut a ribbon? A tear trickles down her cheek. I know what I’ll do. I’m going to go for a swim too. Tonight. On my own. In an Amsterdam canal. Not to raise money for a good cause but for me. Nobody will recognise me with my swimming hat on. I’ll do a bit of breast stroke first and a bit of back stroke under a bridge. Just because I feel like it. And then I’ll forget about the whole sorry thing. The whole thing? Yes. Now where’s that bathing suit?


Youp van ‘t hek is one of the Netherlands’ best loved comedians and writers


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