If I saw much of the royals on 30 April? Well, no. At 7.30pm I finally had more than enough of the press center and my work, and decided to have a break. A friend of mine was nearby and said he would be there soon. And I waited and waited. Turned out he had passed on the back of the palace and was just looking at all the royal guests leaving the Royal Palace. But afterwards he finally came to see me. We both missed the Song for the King (Koningslied).
But never mind. We found our way to the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ where the water pageant for the King on the River IJ would finish. The shortest routes were all closed down, so we had to walk all the way around the main railway station. In the meantime the royals had started their boat tour. The boat with King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and their daughters had already passed when we finally saw the water, but we saw two boats full of (royal) guests. However we were not able to recognise anybody. While the royals saw a programme of art, culture and sport, called “This is your country” we managed to reach the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ. Far away we could hear a bit of music, which must have been the performance of DJ Armin van Buuren and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The King, Queen and their daughters shortly left their boat there to great the musicians. And the three boats with guests arrived at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ …They had to wait for about half an hour … outside. Hopefully it was a bit warmer next to the building than on the bridge where we stood. At least we wore a coat, while most guests hadn’t taken any scarf or coat with them and were standing there in their evening dresses. Although the guests were hardly recognisable from our place – and I only remembered later that I had taken a small spy-glass with me – it was nice finally to be part of the festivities.
But finally just after 9pm also the new Royal Couple arrived. It took a while before anything happened, and just when we were about to leave there was a small fireworks after all and people playing drums. The vessels on the water saluted the new King and Queen, boats of the fire brigade showed their skills. And a formation of the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s (ten of them) made a fly past just above our heads.But then the party was over. The Royals and their guests went all inside the buidling for a dinner, hosted by Prime Minister Mark Rutte on behalf of the Council of Ministers. And we left to get some food and warmth. I went back to work, and finally finished working at midnight.