Friday 27 May 2022

Prime minister praises old queen, new king and everyone else

Prime minister Mark Rutte is ‘proud’ of the way a ‘unified’ Netherlands celebrated the investiture of king Willem-Alexander, he told a celebratory banquet in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam on Tuesday evening.

‘We have a fantastic country,’ he said. ‘Thank you all so much.’

In his speech, the prime minister praised the former queen Beatrix and said that very many people will have wonderful memories of the way she had been queen for 33 years.

Rutte also praised the new king’s speech during the investiture in the Nieuwe Kerk and said he had confidence he and Willem-Alexander would work well together in the coming years.

Little trouble

The investiture and Queen’s Day celebrations passed off peacefully in the main.

By midnight there had been 98 arrests in Amsterdam, mainly for minor offences, Nos television said. This is less than half the 2012 arrests. Three people were slightly hurt in two separate incidents involving knives.

Police estimate between 700,000 and 800,000 came to the capital for the celebrations, around the same as last year.

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan praised the partygoers and emergency services for their role. In particular, those who had been given a couple of months to organise the event, he said. ‘That was quite an achievement.’

At midnight, a team of 100 cleaners began the mammoth task of clearing up the mess in the capital.

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