King’s Day gets off to a sunny start after a night of parties

The King's Day market always starts early in Utrecht. Photo: Gerard Til / Hollandse Hoogte
The King’s Day market always starts early in Utrecht. Photo: Gerard Til / Hollandse Hoogte

King’s Day got off to a sunny start in most of the Netherlands on Friday and weather forecasters say any rain will fall later in the day in the north and west.

The temperature will hit as high as high as 17 degrees in the southeast but won’t be higher than 12 degrees during the royal family’s visit to Groningen.

Royalty fans had begun lining the streets early in the morning to catch a glimpse of the king, queen and three princesses. They are due to arrive in the northern city around 11am.

The king, who came to the throne five years ago today, turns 51 today. A new poll by Ipsos for broadcaster NOS givens him a 73% approval rating, and 25% say he does a better job than his mother Beatrix.

Some 750,000 people are expected to pack into Amsterdam on Friday for the King’s Day market and four major festivals. Dutch Rail is laying on extra and longer trains to cope with the expected crush on public transport.

King’s Night

Hundreds of thousands of people attended King’s Night festivals all over the country on Thursday evening, but there were few incidents, police said.

Some 200,000 people attended the ‘The Life I Live’ festival on the Grote Markt in The Hague and at one point police urged people not to come to the city centre any more because it was overflowing.

In Utrecht, the city imposed a ban on amplified music from 1am to 11am. The traditional market starts in Utrecht on the evening before King’s Day.

There were also festivals and live performances in Arnhem, Tilburg, Zwolle and Eindhoven.

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