Thursday 29 October 2020

King says sorry for breaking social distancing rules on Greek holiday

This year’s official summer photo. Photo: RVD / Wesley de Wit

King Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima have reacted publicly to a photograph circulating on internet which shows them breaking social distancing measures while on holiday in Greece.

The photo shows the royal couple, the king carrying a face mask, standing close to a restaurant owner on the island of Milos, who has a plastic bag containing wine and other goodies in his hand.

‘We did not pay close attention to that [social distancing] in the spontaneity of the moment,’ the couple said in a social media post. ‘We should have done so, because keeping to the coronavirus rules on holiday is essential in keeping the virus under control.’

RTL news tracked down the location and spoke to a worker who confirmed the couple had been in the restaurant and that the man in the photo is the owner. ‘The photo was for a private album,’ he said, adding that breaking the coronavirus rules was ‘a mistake’.

In Greece, the social distancing norm is 1.5 metres, there is a limit on the number of customers per square footage when indoors and face masks are required on public transport and in museums and other attractions.


The state information service RVD had earlier declined to comment on the photo, saying it is a private matter.

Last week, photos of the couple in swimwear on board their new €2m speed boat were also circulating on the internet and in the press.

The royal family has agreed with the Dutch media that they will pose for holiday pictures twice a year in return for being left alone while not on official duty.

Dutch media outlets which publish paparazzi photos of the family are banned from taking part in the official photo shoots.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.