King’s Day was quiet, sunny and celebrated online

King's Day is a Saturday this year. Photo:

This year’s stay-at-home King’s Day celebrations passed off quietly and without any real problems, police said on Monday evening.

Up to 4pm on the day itself, police had handed out just 65 fines to people who refused to keep 1.5 metres distance from others.

This total included 48 people from Oud-Beijerland in Zuid-Holland province who were celebrating Luilak, a tradition in some parts of the Netherlands in which large groups of youngsters make a lot of noise early in the morning to wake everyone up.

Police also handed out 654 fines on Saturday and Sunday for non-compliance with social distancing rules.

Fewer warnings

Nevertheless, ‘in general people are keeping to the 1.5 metre rule very well,’ Hubert Bruls, head of the national public safety council, said. There were fewer warnings and fines for youngsters compared with a couple of weeks ago and they ‘now appear to have got the message’, he said.

King’s Day, on which the Dutch celebrate king Willem-Alexander’s birthday, is usually an over-the-top affair, which includes a visit by the family to a certain part of the the country.

This year, the planned visit to Maastricht was cancelled and replaced by an online approach.

Justine Marcella, head of royalty magazine Vorsten, said the king and his family ‘came much closer’ to the general public through a series of online interviews with celebrities and members of the public which were spread throughout the day.

‘Everyone could recognise the close ties between them through the video calls,’ Marcella told broadcaster NOS. ‘The royal famly is not usually that happy about cameras in their private lives, so I think this was a unique insight.’

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