Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands were met with protests yesterday as they arrived for the King’s Day concert, organised by the host city of this year’s King’s Day celebrations later this month – Groningen. Also in attendance were Princess Beatrix and Prince Constantijn.
The protests are against gas extraction in the province of Groningen. Celebrations this year will focus on the impact of earthquakes in the province due to gas production.
As the King and Queen walked into the De Oosterpoort, protestors chanted, “Are you our King or just an oil sheikh?” Dutch royal journalist Rick Evers captured their arrival and the chant of the demonstrators and shared it on Twitter. His YouTube video of all the arrivals of the Dutch Royal Family is at the top of this article.
The North Dutch Orchestra and students of the Prins Claus Conservatorium Groningen performed the concert consisting of music by the American composer Leonard Bernstein. Music by Michael Jackson, John Adams, Dick Dale and Alberto Iglesias was also performed. Erwin de Vries sang songs from folk singer Ede Staal, a Groningen native, who died in 1986. Additionally, members of the international dance company, Guy and Roni and the soprano Lenneke Ruiten took part. Their Majesties and Princess Beatrix met the performers after the concert had concluded last night.
The 2018 King’s Day concert will be broadcast on Friday, 27 April at 21.05 pm on NPO 2 in The Netherlands.
In The Netherlands, Koningsdag (or King’s Day) is a national holiday celebrated annually on 27 April (or the 26th if the 27th is on a Sunday). It is a celebration of King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. The host city for the 2018 event, with King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, Princess Amalia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane in attendance, is Groningen in the province of the same name which is located in the northern section of the country. It is expected that between 60,000 and 80,000 will travel to the city for the celebrations.
The King’s Day concert takes place close to a month before the holiday; since 2014, it has been hosted by the province where the King and his family will celebrate that year. The first concert was in 1985 and took place in Noordeinde Palace.