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Extensive security measures for King’s Day in the Netherlands

Extensive security measures have been taken during the past weeks to make everything ready and safe for King’s Day on the 27th of April. The Dutch Royal Family will celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s birthday in Groningen this year.

The city of Groningen has been preparing for months to make everything ready for King’s Day on the 27th of April, King Willem-Alexander’s 51st birthday. The Royal Family will walk along a parkour of 1170 metres. Along there, all waste bins have been removed, manhole covers repainted and birdhouses repaired. Several bicycle parking areas have been installed just outside the area.

In order to be able to guarantee the safety of the Royal Family and the public, road obstacles have been placed all around Groningen, and dozens of security cameras have been set.

The Royal Court, in collaboration with the police, has screened over 2000 inhabitants of Groningen. Those who have passed the test have received a wristband which will allow them in the “royal area” on King’s Day.

The city has also been decorating town squares and the windows of several shops. Large pictures of the Royal Family are being hung on the walls.

Even though a lot of work has been done over the past few months, there is still so much more to do. In the next few days, crash barriers will be placed alongside the parkour, and Dutch television will start to unroll tens of metres of cables.

King’s Day is the celebration of the monarch’s birthday and has quite a long history as it started with Princess (later Queen) Wilhelmina (then Princess’s Day) in 1885. It is a public holiday in The Netherlands which means a lot of people also celebrate the feast. The people of The Netherlands will dress up in orange and celebrations are held over the entire country. The King, Queen, their three daughters and many other family members celebrate King’s Day each year in other towns.

In Groningen, the Royal Family will meet the public along the parkour. The walk is expected to last around two hours. Along the parkour, several activities will be organised, and the Royal Family will take part.

Groningen is a special location for the King’s cousins, Prince Bernhard and Prince Maurits and their wives as they have all studied in the city. Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène got to know each other at a local café in Groningen.

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