"Fantastic" King's Day in Groningen, Dutch King says

The Dutch Royals wave at the thousands gathered on Vismarkt after spending King's Day in Groningen, 27 April 2018
The Dutch Royals wave to thousands gathered on Vismarkt after spending King's Day in Groningen, 27 April 2018Photo: Gemeente Groningen / Twitter

"It is a fantastic party and I find Groningen a fantastic city", King Willem-Alexander said to NOS during the King's Day festivities in Groningen on Thursday. "Much thanks to Groningen, it is really a cool city", Queen Maxima added.

The Royal Family spent King Willem-Alexander's 51st birthday in Groningen. Thousands of people gathered in the city to see the Royals and enjoy the festivities Groningen arranged. 

Mayor Peter den Oudsten and commissioner of the King Rene Paas welcomed the Royal Family on Prinsenhof around 11:00 a.m. The children's mayor and -deputy mayor presented "their" Groningen to the King. And a crowd sang happy birthday to him in the Martinikerk. 

King Willem-Alexander also met with and spoke to a number of people affected by gas extraction earthquakes in the province. "I have the idea that the whole Netherlands sympathizes with us, but the sympathy stops on the Binnenhof", one victim said to him, according to NOS. "Are you better listened to now?" the King asked. "Yes, much has improved", she answered. An 8-year-old girl also read a poem about gas extraction to the Royals.

Other entertainment included performances by musicians that in the past performed at famous Groningen festivals Eurosonic Noordeslag and Grunnsonic, and a mini-lecture by Ben Feringa, who won a Nobel prize for Science in 2016. 

"I want to thank everyone. Without the efforts of many, this would not have been possible", the King said after the festivities ended around 2:00 p.m. "Groningen, city and surrounding areas, today this 27th of April you have shown that you are one with each other. This city is special, you can give a party. Others talk about it and you just do it. Therefore there is nothing above Groningen."

According to Josine Drogendijk, who wrote the book Modekoningin Maxima, princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane all wore something out of their mother's wardrobe on Friday. 14-year-old Amalia wore a jacket Maxima wore in 2015, 2016 and 2017. 12-year-old Alexia walked with a denim jacket her mother wore on Queen's Day in 2004. And 11-year-old Ariane had a cardigan from the Queen's closet.