Queen’s Day on Monday was the usual mix of royal princes taking part in strange competitions, huge festivals and street markets, with one big difference. Fewer people visited Amsterdam.
Amsterdam attracted 700,000 visitors, 100,000 down on 2011. This was the result of a new policy introduced by mayor Eberhard van der Laan which saw the large pop events moved from the centre of the city to the Java island, the Olympic stadium and the Oosterpark.
As a result, the city centre was far quieter than usual, although the children’s festivities in the Vondelpark were crowded.
According to the authorities, there were 175 incidents during the day, with 51 arrests. This was well down on last year’s figures of 697 and 69 respectively.
First aid posts dealt with 300 people, mainly suffering from the effects of drink or drugs. Most of them were dealt with on the spot, with just three needing to be hospitalised.
Queen Beatrix and her family spent the warm and sunny day in Rhenen and Veenendaal in Utrecht province, where the princes joined in a competition to see who could throw a toilet pot the furthest.
At the end of the visit, the queen thanked the crowds, saying: ‘It is sad that our family is not complete, but we will pass on all the good wishes we have felt and heard.’
She was referring to the fact that her son prince Friso and his wife Mabel were not in the party. Friso is still in a coma in a London hospital with serious brain damage after being caught up in an avalanche during a skiing holiday in February.
Dutch Railways (NS) said it was happy with its performance on Queen’s Day. Trains ran smoothly all day, taking 236,000 people to Amsterdam and 70,000 to Eindhoven where the biggest events took place.
A further 9,000 people travelled by train to Rhenen and Veenendaal to see the royal family during their visits.
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