Boos and whistles as support for the monarchy falls to 50%

The king, queen and daughters Amalia and Alexia wave to supporters. Photo: Koen van Weel ANP

Several people were arrested in the centre of The Hague on Tuesday as they tried to demonstrate along the route of the coach carrying the king and queen to parliament.

Security was tight along the route, with ministries and streets closed off by fencing and a visible police presence.

One person who was picked up close to the Noordeinde palace said he was holding a one-man demonstration. A group of seven others were surrounded by police and led away. They were part of a regular protest against government policy, NOS said. 

The police said later they were demonstrating in an area where protests were banned.

According to the AD, demonstrators along the route also booed and whistled at the coaches carrying the royals to the ceremony and back to the palace. There was also whistling when they waved from the balcony of the palace to supporters  outside the gates.

A survey into the popularity of the royal family which was published on Tuesday showed the king merits a score 6.6 points out of 10 while queen Maxima scores 7.1, down slightly on a year ago.  

Some 50% of the general population support the monarchy but 26% would like the Netherlands to become a republic. 

Among the under 35s, almost four in 10 support the monarchy but 34% consider themselves republicans. 

Ten years ago, when Willem-Alexander was sworn in as king, 80% of the population backed the monarchy.

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