Tuesday 22 June 2021

The first King’s Day passes off peacefully, princesses join the party

The first King’s Day passed off in usual celebratory style and king Willem-Alexander surprised the crowds by bringing the three princesses to Amstelveen to join in the party.

Dutch media report no major incidents and figures on arrests and injuries are still being collated.

Some 270,000 people came to Amsterdam by train for the celebrations, about the same number as last year, the NS said. In total, some 600,000 to 800,000 celebrated King’s Day in the capital, according to city council estimates.

Cities

Rotterdam police say the atmosphere in the port city was busy but fun. Some 80 people were arrested in the region, mostly for public drunkenness, urinating in public and fighting. One police officer was slightly injured during an arrest.

Around 100,000 people joined the party in Utrecht, where there were 37 arrests. The city was busy but not too overcrowded, police said

Some 190,000 people celebrated in Eindhoven, where there were just 19 arrests. Breda was also busy where radio station 538 organised its traditional King’s Day festival, RTL news said.

In Haarlem, 49 youngsters thought to be under the age of 18 were checked on alcohol possession, resulting in just one fine, RTL news said.

Clean up

The big clean up is already underway in Amsterdam and so far some 5,500 large bin liners of refuse have been collected. It will take until Wednesday until the city is back to normal, local broadcaster AT5 reported.

The royal family celebrated the day in De Rijp, north of Amsterdam and in Amstelveen. The three princesses, who had been kept out of the group, appeared in Amstelveen and joined part of the walk about.

One piece of footage, by journalist Kevin Roberson from Examiner.com, appears to show Amstelveen’s mayor Fred de Graaf touching queen Máxima’s backside. De Graaf says he has no recall of the incident and knows this would not be appropriate behaviour.

This is likely to be the last year the royals will undertake such a walkabout. Willem-Alexander is keen to introduce new elements into the King’s Day celebrations although the orange street party is unlikely to be affected.

According to a poll by Maurice de Hond, the new king is seen as nicer, more fun and less formal than his mother, the former queen Beatrix. Beatrix, however, is considered to be more involved with people.

Confidence

Three-quarters of those polled by De Hond said they have confidence in Willem-Alexander as king and almost half think he has the right amount of power.

CDA voters are among the most positive supporters of the royal house. One-third of those polled think the king should have no more influence on the government – with supporters of Geert Wilders’s dominating.

A representative 2,500 people took part in the poll.

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