Dutch embassies cancel King’s Day festivities

King's Day 2018 in Amsterdam
Boats parade down the inner city canals while revellers gather on the streets to celebrate King's Day in Amsterdam. Apr. 27, 2018Photo: Vlade-Mir / DepositPhotos

Dutch embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic missions around the globe have been ordered to cancel their annual King’s Day celebrations in the wake of the international coronavirus pandemic. The Netherlands manages over 150 such offices around the world, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The decision was made several days after the national celebration in Maastricht was called off. The King of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, was to celebrate his birthday in the Limburg city along with Queen Máxima.

“Given the rapid spread of the corona crisis around the world, it is only logical to cancel the usual festivities this year,” Foreign Minister Stef Blok said in a statement.

King’s Day, celebrated most years with blowout parties at night on April 26 and throughout April 27, is one of the most widely enjoyed holidays in the Netherlands. The ministry said it was also “a festive highlight for many Dutch people abroad.”