King Willem-Alexander, queen Maxima and their three daughters have taken part in the traditional summer holiday photo session, although the king said he had mixed feelings about posing, given the flooding in Limburg and the death of crime journalist Peter R de Vries.
The death of De Vries, said the king, was ‘a shock for many people’, adding that his sympathy went out to journalists at the photo shoot who knew him.
He also expressed his sympathy for the people of Limburg who are currently being evacuated because of the floods. Willem-Alexander and Maxima visited the town of Valkenburg on Thursday evening to show their support for locals.
The annual photo session marks the start of the royal family’s summer break and is meant to ensure that their actual holiday remains free of Dutch paparazzi.
Maxima said that everyone in the Netherlands had earned their summer break. ‘A different environment, a bit of peace … I wish everyone some rest,’ she said. ‘I hope every family’s plans can go ahead.’
The king declined to say where his family was going but did stay the perfect holiday to him was ‘on a boat, with no security, no staff, just us five’. Such a holiday, he said, would be ‘priceless’.
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