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The Netherlands celebrates the 55th birthday of its King

After a two-year break from the coronavirus, the Netherlands today celebrated King Willem-Alexander’s 55th birthday with street festivals. Crowds of people dressed in royal orange lined the streets as Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima mingled with the crowds in Maastricht.

Low poll numbers

However, the celebration has been marred by the royal family’s poor popularity in recent opinion polls. Numerous mistakes in the coronavirus pandemic have permanently damaged the reputation of the House of Orange. According to a survey published over the weekend, the Dutch have 54 percent confidence in their king, up from 82 percent three years ago.

In a poll published today by Radio NOS, participants gave their king 6.7 out of 10 points, two years ago he still had 7.7 points.

Royal slips

Dutch historian Han van der Horst told AFP that the royal family’s gaffes during the pandemic were reflected in these rates of popularity. “Serious work awaits the royal family to regain their popularity and show their relevance to the general public.”

In October 2020, the royal couple had to cancel a holiday in Greece after criticism was raised at home. At the time, there was a CoV shutdown in the Netherlands.

In December, the Royal Palace had to acknowledge that Crown Princess Amalia celebrated her 18th birthday with 21 guests, while CoV requirements stipulated a maximum of four guests over the age of 13 in private homes nationwide. Although Amalia’s party was held outdoors, Willem Alexander later admitted that looking back, it was not a “good idea” to organize the celebration.

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