The King of the Netherlands and his family have returned to the Netherlands after cancelling their controversial holiday to Greece on Friday evening.
King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, Princess Amalia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane arrived back at Huis ten Bosch Palace last night around 9 p.m. local time. The media was waiting outside the palace as the family was driven in, in a tented van. As expected, they did not stop for the media waiting at the gate. A few moments later the royal standard was hoisted on top of the palace signalling that the King was back in residence.
The royals arrived back in the Netherlands on a KLM flight around 8 p.m. at Schiphol from Athens.
The controversy of the Greek holiday began on Friday when the family flew to Greece, and it became known to the media. The public was not happy as they had been asked to not travel outside the country due to COVID-19. Around 91 per cent of the Dutch public thought the holiday was unwise.
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 and Queen issued a statement late on Friday 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.”
Additional reporting by Moniek Bloks