On Saturday 27 April, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands celebrates his 52nd birthday. The birthday of the monarch is called King’s Day and includes several public celebrations with the Dutch Royal Family. The city of Amersfoort is working fulltime on the preparations.
Now that King’s Day is around the corner, the city of Amersfoort is not only counting the days but also the hours, minutes and seconds until the beginning of the big festivities. Ever since Willem-Alexander became King in 2013, he has celebrated his birthday with his family in a town somewhere in the Netherlands. In August 2018, it was announced that the King and his family would celebrate his birthday in Amersfoort, in the province of Utrecht in 2019. However, celebrations are planned all over the country.
The city of Amersfoort has been preparing for months and is working fulltime to make sure that the King, his family and visitors have a beautiful day of celebrations. The Royal Family will walk a route of one kilometre, and alongside the course, the Royal Family is invited to participate in several activities. The centre of the city is, at this point, being decorated with hundreds of orange flags which were specially designed to mark King’s Day 2019! Shops, restaurants and regular houses are joining in the fun of decorating, and many pictures of the Royal Family can be spotted on the facades.
The Mayor of Amersfoort, Lucas Bolsius revealed they started planning and working right after the announcement that King’s Day would be celebrated in the city with a small team which has grown into a group of over 400 people. At this point, the stages around the route are being set up. Also, public transport has made preparations for the big day. A lot of extra trains have been scheduled, and visitors can make free use of buses in Amersfoort throughout the day.
King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, their three daughters and other family members will arrive in Amersfoort by bus at 11 am. There they will be welcomed by the Mayor and the storytellers of Amersfoort, and children from local primary schools will sing a song for the King. Other activities along the route include the singing of various choirs, a quiz, opera singers, street soccer, dance, basketball, the making of art, a festival with food trucks, a labyrinth and so on. The route will end with a show. Then the national anthem, The Wilhelmus, will be sung and the Royal Family will leave at 1 pm.
The festivities will, however, continue throughout the day in many cities and towns in the Netherlands. For those who can’t wait until Saturday, the official King’s Day festivities will kick off on Friday evening with a “King’s Night” concert.