The Dutch Royal family have launched their very own Instagram account on King Willem-Alexander’s 50th birthday and King’s Day. Their first photo was taken in Tilburg in front of the royal train by which they arrived and shows King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and their three daughters. The caption reads “On the train to Tilburg, wishing everyone a very happy #Kingsday!” – WA #Kingsday #Birthday #Abraham #WA50 #Congratulations #crownyear #King #Queen”. They already almost 20,000 followers.
Although the holiday is celebrated nationwide, the royal couple visit one or more cities each year. King’s Day is a bank holiday in the Netherlands. It used to fall on 30 April to coincide with Queen Juliana’s birthday, even after she had been succeeded by her daughter, Queen (now Princess) Beatrix because her birthday was in January, where it would be too cold to celebrate.
In addition to the King’s celebrations, the Royal Palace in Amsterdam will open in for 50 hours straight this weekend, and the King will hold a special dinner with 150 citizens who also celebrate their birthday on 27 April. Everyone with a birthday on the 27th was invited to apply for an invitation for the dinner, but a special preference was given to those who celebrate a crown year (which can be divided by 5).
The Dutch Constitution states that if King’s Day falls on a Sunday, it should be observed the day before. This was the case in 2014, for King Willem-Alexander’s first celebration as King. In 2009, when it was still Queen’s Day, the Royal Family’s parade was attacked by a man who ploughed his car through the crowds, killing eight people and injuring ten. The car eventually crashed into a monument, and the driver later died in hospital. The Royal Family remained unharmed.