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The Netherlands

Public’s trust in Dutch King plummets

willem-alexander
© RVD – Paul Tolenaar.

The public’s trust in King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has plummeted from 76% in April of this year to just 47% in December, according to research bureau Ipsos.

There were several moments during 2020 when the King was heavily criticised. During his holiday to Greece in August, the King and Queen were pictured with the owner of a restaurant without taking social distancing into account. Shortly before this, King Willem-Alexander had purchased a new speedboat, costing two million euros. By doing this in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was accused of not showing solidarity with the Dutch people.

Another incident occurred in October when the Royal Family travelled to Greece on the government jet – shortly after the government had called on the Dutch people to stop travelling abroad. The situation got so out of hand that the King decided to return home. However, it soon became clear that two of their daughters had remained behind, leading to even more criticism. A few days later, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima recorded a video in which they apologised for the breach of trust.

Around 75% of the interviewees called it “unwise” that the family went on holiday in October, even though it had not been forbidden by the government as Greece was only code yellow at the time. Around 70% said that the image of the Royal Family had been damaged by their actions.