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European RoyalsThe Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander ends holiday in Greece after criticism

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
© RVD / Wesley de Wit

King Willem-Alexander and his family have ended their holiday in Greece only hours after landing amidst a storm of criticism.

The Dutch royals travelled to Athens on a government plane to begin their autumn break on Friday but when this became known to the wider public, it led to controversy. Just last Tuesday, the Netherlands went into a partial lockdown and people were advised not to travel abroad during the autumn break. The part of Greece the royals were travelling to is currently “code yellow” and does not require a quarantine upon return to the Netherlands.

The King issued a statement saying, “We will end our holiday. We have seen the responses of the people to the news in the media. They are intense and they affect us. There can be no doubt about it, to get COVID-19 under control it is necessary that the guidelines are followed. The discussion about our holiday does not contribute to that.”

The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, was reportedly aware of the King’s holiday plans. Royal Reporter Kysia Hekster told NOS, “This is huge dent for his image as a connector. Apparently, he did not think that this was not such a good idea and what it would project. He did not assess that very well.”