Have you already noted the crown in my avatars? I’m wearing it because this month will become very special in Holland’s national History. We are eagerly anticipating Koniginnedag (Queen’s Day). Queen’s Day is a Dutch holiday which has been held in April for over 100 years to celebrate our Queen’s birthday. This year is a very special edition of Queen’s Day, because Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands abdicates her throne and her son Willem-Alexander will become King of The Netherlands.
Let me introduce you into the world of our Dutch royalty.
It’s origin: a princess’s birthday party
The royal celebrations arose in 1885 as Princess’s Day to honour the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, heiress to the Dutch throne. On her accession, Princess’s Day became Queen’s Day and was formerly held on August 31.
National holiday: The Queen’s birthday
But after Wilhelmina’s abdication things got a little tricky. With the coronation of the new Queen Juliana in 1948, the celebrations had to be re-scheduled to her own birthday on April 30th. Beatrix was born on January 31st but decided not to change the date for Queen’s Day. This is perfectly understandable when you consider the numerous open air events and markets, which are traditionally held on this holiday. January might be a little cold for a street party right?
And finally: the King’s birthday
This year, two things are going to change. First, Queen’s Day will become King’s Day to celebrate the birthday of the new King Willem-Alexander. Second, the date for the celebrations will change again because Willem-Alexander’s birthday is on April 27. However, the first King’s Day will be held on 26 April 2014 because April 27th of that year is a Sunday.
This month: Orange madness
How are we going to celebrate this last Queen’s Day? With large public open air events, markets and concerts in the whole country. Most of them will be held in Amsterdam. Our capital will be overflown with a massive wave of people dressed all in orange, which is the colour of our Royal House.
May I ask you a favour? Join in!
I’m planning to join the celebrations, but I cannot decide on a proper orange outfit for it. Would you help getting me dressed for Queen’s Day?
During the next weeks I will show you different orange gadgets on my Facebook page and ask you to choose between them. Those gadgets with the most votes will assemble my Queen’s Day costume.
Furthermore I will keep you up to date with all news about the festivities and our Royal Family. And of course you may expect a live-report from the coronation of Willem-Alexander and Queen’s Day itself.
Will you join me online in this?