Queen’s Day in Holland: bye, bye Beatrix

On Monday, 28 January our Queen Beatrix announced that she will abdicate and pass the throne to her oldest son Willem-Alexander. Beatrix has been queen for nearly 33 years. She abdicates because she believes that the country should be led by a new generation. In this post I invite you to look back with me on 33 years Beatrix.

Queen Beatrix was born in 1938 as the first daughter of Queen Juliana and King Bernhard. She was married to the German aristocrat Claus von Arnsberg, who died in 2002, and is mother of three sons: Princes Willem-Alexander, Friso and Constantijn.

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A tough manager

As a queen, Beatrix proved herself as a real manager. Politicians, who worked with her, were impressed by her acuracy. Since the economy in Holland was not going well, the royal family had to save costs. Beatrix managed to reduce this costs to a minimum by removing all ‘non-sense luxury’ from the royal court. While her mother Juliana had a more friendly contact with her servants, Beatrix is the indisputabel boss at the court.

Blog Holland Queen Beatrix State Visit

The face of Holland

You might believe that I am the official face of Holland, but that is way to much credit for me. Beatrix played a key role in Holland’s international trade agreements. During her reign she made countless state visits to maintain the good relationships with Holland’s trade partners. After 33 years, her face has become familiar to the heads of many other states. Therefore her visits improved many partnerships, with financial benefits for Holland (well, the benefit of face to face meetings).

Mother of the country

To her own people, Beatrix often seemed cool and distant. However, this image changed in the 90’s when Holland was hit by two heavy accidents. Beatrix showed empathy, and encouraged the people to support the victims and their families.

Blog Holland Queen Beatrix

Next to her formal tasks, Beatrix also acts as a mother to her people. She supports social organisations and initiatives that contribute to a better stability of Holland’s society. As the face of the nation she visits important events in Holland such as conferences, festivties and other official ceremonies. Would you like to see her? On April 13th, Beatrix will open the doors of the reconstructed Rijksmuseum.

Last Queen’s Day

Of course we will give our Queen a legendary last birthday party on Queen’s Day here in Holland. Millions of people will be on the streets in their brightest orange outfits and wave to our Queen: Bye, bye Bea.

Will you be there? You can also join me online, as I will be doing a live report via my Social Media channels that day.

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Queen’s Day in Holland: join our orange party!

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.

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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?

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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.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Celebrations Amsterdam Orange

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?