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The Netherlands

Historian speaks on King Willem-Alexander’s legacy after marking 10 years as King

After a decade of reigning, King Willem-Alexander’s legacy is already being examined by Dutch historians, and one brands him ‘ordinary’ compared to his mother, Princess Beatrix.

The historian Han van Bree, who specialises in the Dutch Royal Family, spoke to Vortsen about King Willem-Alexander’s legacy so far. He opined that the King rules more like his grandmother, Juliana, than his mother, Beatrix, as he acts “ordinary” and Beatrix acted “mystical.”

Van Bree said: “For a monarch it is important that you do what is close to you so that you really come across and believe in the role. And I don’t know if Willem-Alexander does that. He may need to listen to his counsellors a little better sometimes and get a little more resistance. But you take yourself into office: so it will always remain that way.”

Van Bees also highlighted some of the scandals that have marred King Willem-Alexander’s reign, including governmental issues and the coronavirus pandemic that saw him and his family criticised for their actions.

On 30 April, King Willem-Alexander will mark his first decade on the throne. His mother, Beatrix, announced her intentions to abdicate earlier that year to make way for a new generation at the helm.

The King appeared in a podcast series consisting of ten episodes—one episode per year of his reign—that sees him discussing each year and the highs and lows.

‘Through the Eyes of a King’ was produced on behalf of the Government Information Service of the Netherlands.

Another way the royals plan to mark this anniversary is with the ’10 Times’ luncheon. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will host a ’10 Times’ luncheon at the Oranjezaal at Huis ten Bosch Palace, with 100 guests in attendance that members of their communities have nominated.

King Willem-Alexander said: “Over the past ten years, I have met a lot of people who make fantastic efforts for others, for the neighbourhood or the general interest. I would like to thank those people for their commitment to the Netherlands.”

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.