Today I have a guest writer on this blog. Some days before King’s Day I met Loretta in Groningen. I know there are lots of foreign royalty watchers who say they should come one day for King’s Day … Loretta did! All the way from Canada, and she was so kind writing me a report when she got back home. Thanks! All the pictures are hers too.
A Canadian at Koningsdag 2019 (King’s Day 2019) held on April 27, 2019 in Amersfoort, The Netherlands.
A week ago today I got up very early in the morning prepare for Koningsdag and to get a good spot to see King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, the Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane and other members of the Dutch Royal Family come to Amersfoort to celebrate the King’s 52nd birthday. I learned that every year the King celebrates his birthday in a different community. Knowing I was planning a coach tour of Holland, I picked a date in such a way that I could attend this memorable occasion.
Up at 4:30 am! Not much sleep, as the party on the Hof did not end till 1:30 am! I was meeting up with Oscar Meijer and friends, also staying in the same hotel, at 5:00 am. As soon as we headed out the door in the dark of morning, raindrops started. It did not take long for the rain to keep coming, and coming. It became bitterly cold and wet out. I have to say it was quite a miserable wait for the Royal Family over the next 6 hours. We could have spent at least 2-3 more hours in bed before the people started to appear in numbers.
We picked a spot on Westsingel St, at the end of a small canal bridge, where spectators were on only one side of the street. That was a strategic move on our part, to keep the royals on our side of the street for pictures, handshakes and cheers. I won’t go on and on about our long wait in the rain, but it really was miserable and I did not have on enough warm clothes. There was a man beside me who endured this too and I admired his quiet presence, enduring the same misery. As the time approached for the royal arrival, the rain ended, and we began to bring out our orange paper crowns, wreaths, sunglasses. I was happy the rain cape that I purchased had big orange dots on it. Excitement started to build when we heard to tower bells ringing. The King, Queen and family arrived in Amersfoort.
It was quite thrilling when the King first came in view. There was a lot of cheering and the King was waving and shaking hands. Next was Queen Maxima and the children. Oh my goodness, I was excited to see all of them. The Queen looked gorgeous. It all happened so fast, the King coming by, waving, shaking hands and accepting gifts. And I was so busy taking pictures. There were a few photographers and security who got in the way I have to say!
Then the Queen came by me shaking hands here and there. I was busy having a good look at her. And taking pictures. I could see the Queen with people snapping selfies down the line as I continued my picture taking! The royals accepted many gifts and bouquets of flowers from the people. Other members of the royal family, the sons of Princess Margriet and their wives came by. At the end of the royal party waving and smiling came Prince Constantijn, the King’s brother and his lovely wife Princess Laurentien. We had a great view of them and handshakes all around.
As soon as the royal party left, we immediately thought about food! Our early start in the morning meant no breakfast, except for a chocolate bar and mints, the Wilhelmina mints, which I shared around, from my friend Netty @nettyroyal !!! Off we went to a nice restaurant for warmth, fried eggs, ham and cheese. By now we forgot all about the rain and shared our stories and pictures before heading back to the hotel. What an exciting day to celebrate the King’s birthday.
May 4, 2019