In total 2,828 people have been recognised in the king’s birthday honours list which was published on Monday.
This year’s recipients include comedian Claudia de Breij, bridge master Anton Maas and volunteer Mary Benjamin, who at the age of 110 is the oldest person ever to have been recognized in the list.
The annual honours list is always announced the day before the monarch’s birthday and focuses mainly on people who have made a major contribution to society, usually in the form of volunteering.
Traditionally, the honours are handed out by local mayors at the country’s town halls, but this year coronavirus prompted them to be more creative. Some mayors visited the recipients on a decorated bike, while in Westland a camper was converted for the day.
We zijn vertrokken! Vandaag ga ik 21 bijzondere Westlanders thuis verrassen met een Koninklijke onderscheiding. Wat een mooie dag! pic.twitter.com/VxO60tzaRx
— Burgemeester Westland (@BgmWestland) April 26, 2021
Most people were made members of the Order of Oranje-Nassau – which has six levels. That honour was introduced in 1892 for foreigners and the ‘lower classes’. Just 18 people were given an honour in the more exclusive Order of the Dutch Lion.
The first Dutch honour was introduced by king Willem 1 in 1815.
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