Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 15:46
Looking back: King Willem-Alexander's first year
Willem-Alexander has been the King for one year. In his first year on the throne, Willem-Alexander has been a modest ceremonial King, performed his duty, made royal visits and demonstrated his interest in society. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima have been regularly active socially. The Royal Couple visited care homes, spoke with young people about the constitution and visited local allotments. The King's inauguration saw Queen Beatrix sign the Act of Abdication and subsequently present the new King to the crowd at the Dam in Amsterdam. The King's Speech on the 17th of September was special, as Willem-Alexander said that the "classic welfare state in its current form" does not work, and that it is changing into a "participation society" in which everyone who can, should "take the responsibility for his or her own life and environment." A more optimistic tone was noted than the Queen's Speech by Beatrix, despite the somber economic times. Further, the King fulfilled his ceremonial duties by cutting many ribbons, such as the one at the Sport Complex Koning Willem-Alexander in Hoofddorp, which is open to amateur as well as professional athletes. On a state visit to the Olympic Games in Sochi, which was controversial from the start due to Russia's stance on human rights, the Royal Couple had a beer with Vladimir Putin and took pride in the Dutch skaters.