I’m interrupting my series of posts on Plaswijkpark because as I type this one the evening of April 29th 2013, The Netherlands in on the verge of a huge historical event.
Queen Beatrix is tonight entertaining world heads of State and has broadcast a Thank You message to the Dutch people on Dutch television because as her time as the reigning monarch of this country ends tomorrow, on the National holiday of
“Koninginnedag” (Queen’s Day).
The date on which this holiday is held comes from another Dutch Queen: Beatrix’s mother, Juliana.
Once Beatrix took over the throne consideration was given to moving Koninginnedag to the date of her own birthday, but since Beatrix was born on 31st January it’s was deemed impractical to try and organise the traditional street markets, parties and festivities in the heart of winter.
Tomorrow, (or today as you will be reading this) sometime in the mid-morning Beatrix will sign the papers of abdication and Prince Willem-Alexander will take part in his investiture as the first Dutch King to reign over the Netherlands since 1890.
Regular readers of this blog will known that I’m no Royalist, I dislike the idea of hereditary (and mostly ceremonial) power over someone elected for ability and the fact that this royal family has often come under scrutiny (quite rightly so) for whilst being one of the smallest royal houses of Europe, exact the greatest percentage of funds from the taxpayers and the national purse.
Today as a Dutch citizen I found out another piece of information that gets my Republican claws twitching… ”Koninginnedag” (Queen’s Day) on 30th April will naturally become “Koningsdag” (King’s Day) following the investiture of Willem-Alexander… ok that’s logical enough, but what rankles with me is that he will shift the date of this Public holiday to that of his own birthday: 27th April.
I could completely understand if his birthday fell in June, July or August for instance because the weather is often iffy and temperamentally changeable at this time of the year, but to change the date of a National holiday that has been celebrated on the same day since 1948 by three days? For me it smacks of a selfish ego trip. His mother kept the holiday as that of the date of her mother, so why can’t he?
It can’t be for reasons of ”possible better weather” because last weeks weather for instance was even more lousy than this weeks. Yea! ergo therefore we now can look forward to a greater chance of a nation of little kids sitting trying to sell their toys on the street market in the rain. Yes, I’m thrilled (spot the sarcasm).
Willem-Alexander and Maxima’s oldest daughter, Princess Catharina-Amalia was born on 7th December so in all likelihood she will not have the choice of switching the national celebration of Dutch identity and festivities to her own birthday… so her Father’s Birthday and “King’s Day” will probably remain even though she would rightfully be Queen… a Queen without a “Queen’s Day” thus.
Is it just me or does that suck?
I was going to do some baking last weekend but on Friday my back pain was back with a vengeance and it was all I could do to move at all. Therefore today after work I got out the baking trays and went on a baking frenzy… I’ll be trying to sell as many Kiwi style biscuits (cookies) as possible to everyone at the street fair,with all funds raised going to the Kiribati School for the Disabled that our family support and fund-raise for.
Needless to say the entire country of the Netherlands seems to be slowly turning orange (our National colour) for this event… there are orange cakes and iced cookies in the shops and orange clothes, accessories and commemorative tat everywhere. Some of it is tasteful, most of it is not (kind of like my view of the Royal family LOL) .. but I guess it’s fun and it’s entertainment of a sort.
Will I be watching the investiture of our new King? … no, not live but maybe I’ll catch a snippet on the evening news “for the sake of history”… I like local history after all and I suppose it’s not every day a country gets a change of monarch.
I’ve decided to enjoy the spectacle too because no matter which way you cut this cake and like it or not, we are still footing the bill for it. Only Time will tell if the popularity of this King is the winning hand that will beat that of the precious Queen after tomorrows Royal Flush.