New king and queen lay wreath at Remembrance Day ceremony

King Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima laid a wreath at the national war memorial in Amsterdam in their first public role since Willem-Alexander became head of state.

The wreath-laying ceremony was followed by two minutes silence and the first verse of the Dutch national anthem.

After other wreaths were laid, armed services chief Peter van Uhm gave a speech about equality, freedom and justice. Van Uhm lost his son in Afghanistan a day after he was appointed chief of the armed forces. Two weeks later he was in Amsterdam for the Remembrance Day commemorations.

‘They were dark days,’ said Van Uhm. ‘May 4 helped me to keep on course in the days which gave so much pain.’

Princess Beatrix was not at the commemorations but will attend the Liberation Day concert on the Amstel river in Amsterdam on Sunday evening.

Other ceremonies were held in the Westerbork camp where Jews were held before being sent to the death camps and at the Waalsdorpervlakte dune area where some 250 resistance members were shot dead.

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