New King's Day tradition starts in Dordrecht
On Monday the Netherlands is celebrating King's Day on King Willem-Alexander's actual birthday for the first time. The royal family is received by the city of Dordrecht, and also for the first time, in a manner of the King's own choosing.
King Willem-Alexander announced after last year's King's Day that King's Day will henceforth be celebrated in a new manner. This year the royal family will only visit one place - Dordrecht - instead of a city and a town. The program will only last two hours instead of three and the royal family will only do a part of the procession on foot, for the rest they will be transported by, among other things, boat and electric bus. The program starts with a Grande Parade with more than 50 vessels. The rest of the program includes a Bach Festival and a tasting of local products.
The biggest difference from previous years is that this year the royal couple's children, Amalia, Alexia and Ariane, will be attending the festivities instead of the older generation of Princess Beatrix and her sister Princess Margriet. Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien will also be attending, as well as Princess Margriet's sons: Maurits, Bernhard and Floris with their wives Marilene, Annette and Aimee.
Justine Marcella, chief editor of magazine Vorsten, thinks that this new way of celebrating King's Day, with a combination of old and new elements, is King Willem-Alexander's way of showing that a new generation has emerged, NU reports. "His probation is over and he's come through with flying colors", she says. "I like it very much that they are still, as you may call it, 'touchable'. If you take the trouble to get up early, you can see a large part of the royal family with your own eyes."
Jeroen Snel, presenter of Blauw Bloed, thinks that the whole character of the feast day has changed. "The whole look and quality of the show content has gone up. The more feeble parts are now really over. The whole approach is more modern." he said according to NU. According to him it is Willem-Alexander in a nutshell. "He wants to spend all his time wisely. And he undoubtedly concluded that the former Queen's Day was not so profitable - how nice of course and it brings people together - but now it will deliver more as well."