In his sixth Christmas Day address to the Netherlands, Dutch King Willem-Alexander spoke in support of equal opportunities and the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, even quoting former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Willem-Alexander used his annual platform to speak out against intimidation, extremism, and marginialization of people deemed "different".
Princess Amalia, crown princess of the Netherlands and the eldest daughter of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, is turning 15 years old on Friday. She will be celebrating her birthday with her family and a few friends, Queen Maxima said to RTL Nieuws.
"Definitely with each other. And a few friends", the Queen said to the broadcaster. "All family at the start, then we will see. She has exams soon!"
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima started their two-day state visit to the United Kingdom on Monday. On their first day the Dutch Royals had lunch with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham palace and visited the British parliament, NOS reports.
Shortly before being received at the palace, the Royal couple met with Dutch living in the UK and discussed the expats' concerns about the consequences of the Brexit - the United Kingdom leaving the European Union in March next year.
Former Prime Minister Wim Kok (PvdA) passed away after a long illness, his family revealed on Saturday. Over the weekend King Willem-Alexander and various politicians responded to his death. Kok was a well respected man to whom the Netherlands owes a great deal of gratitude, was the general theme of their reactions.
King Willem-Alexander expressed his regret and concern about the United Kingdom's imminent departure from the European Union, speaking to British journalist ahead of his state visit to the U.K. later this month. The Dutch King is particularly concerned about the consequences the Brexit will have for trade between the Netherlands and England, the Guardian and the Independent report.
King Willem-Alexander kicked off the parliamentary year with his annual Prinsjesdag speech on Tuesday. Everyone in the Netherlands should feel the improving economy, the King said. He also spoke about fighting crime, making sustainable energy accessible to everyone and fighting poverty and improving infrastructure in the Dutch Antilles, according to NU.nl's live blog on Budget Day.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima released a statement expressing "enormous sympathy" to those affected by forest fires raging in Greece. So far the fires claimed 60 lives and left some 150 people injured. Whether any Dutch are among the victims is not yet clear, RTL Nieuws reports.
"The raging forest fires in Greece have claimed many victims. We feel enormous sympathy for the victims, their families and those who do not yet know the fate of their loved ones. We share their pain and our thoughts are with them", the Dutch Royals said.
King Willem-Alexander wants to install solar panels on palace Huis ten Bosch, but can't due to a law that states that you can not change the appearance of national monuments. He is not giving up though and will continue to look for a way, he said in Amsterdam on Wednesday, RTL Nieuws reports.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will pay a state visit to the United Kingdom, at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth, in the autumn. The visit will take place on October 23rd and 24th. Minster Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will accompany the Royal couple, government information service Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst announced.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima are grateful for all the expressions of support and sympathy they received after the death of Maxima's sister Inés Zorreguieta, the Dutch King said upon arrival in Riga on Sunday evening. On Monday morning the King starts his state visits to the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the Telegraaf reports.
On Thursday King Willem-Alexander took a ride on a hybrid quad bike at military test site Fieldlab Smarbase in Soesterberg. The motorized four-wheeler runs on fuel and electricity, AD reports.
The King visited the test site with Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense. The King and Minister watched demonstrations of innovative products and designs, including the hybrid quad and several robots.
"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.
King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, and princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane are on their way to celebrate King's Day in Groningen.
"On our way to a sunny King's Day in Groningen. We are looking forward to it", the King said with a photo released on Twitter.
King Willem-Alexander turns 51 years old today.
Excitement is mounting in Groningen as people line the streets, waiting for the Royal Family to arrive.
King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and their three daughters are set to arrive at 11:00 a.m. Other members of the Royal Family attending the festivities in Groningen include Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, the King's cousins Princes Maurits, Bernhard, Pieter-Christiaan and Floris, and their wives. Princes Anita, Prince Pieter-Christiaan's wife, will not be there because she is sick, according to NOS.
Government information service Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst released new photos of King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and their three daughters to mark the occasion of Willem-Alexander being King of the Netherlands for five years.
Willem-Alexander took the throne on April 30th, 2013.
The photos were taken in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam by Erwin Olaf in March.
Cafe Blaffende Vis recreated a giant version of a photo showing King Willem-Alexander and deceased Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan walking together on its facade for King's Day. The image was given the caption "What a King!"
The Blaffende Vis on Westestraat in Amsterdam has been decorating its facade in honor of Queen's Day and King's Day since 1997, according to Het Parool. It is now a tradition in the Jordaan area. Last year it was a picture of King Willem-Alexander dabbing. The year before the picture showed crown princess Amalia as snow white.
King Willem-Alexander is still popular among the Dutch population. The Dutch gave him a score of 7.8 in a survey among 1,078 people by DVJ insights, on behalf of RTL Nieuws.
The Dutch King scored well among his population almost since the moment he took the throne in 2013. In 2014 the Dutch population gave him a score of 7.6. Monday is the fifth anniversary of Willem-Alexander taking the throne of the Netherlands. 88.4 percent of Dutch think that Willem-Alexander grew as king over the past years.
King Willem-Alexander and his family will spend King's Day in Groningen on Friday. The weather is expected to be largely cloudy and relatively cold with afternoon temperatures around 15 to 16 degrees. No rain is expected, but a jacket is advised, according to Weeronline.
The Royal Family costs the Netherlands society around six times more than the figures stated in the national budget, according to anti-monarchy group Republikeins Genootschap. After two years of research, the society presented its figures on the costs of the Royal House on Tuesday, NOS reports.
In the national budget, the official budget for the Royal House amounts to around 60 million. But according to the republicans, the actual cost to society is around 350 million euros per year due to numerous hidden costs.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited the Netherlands on Wednesday, in the run-up to a European sumit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. He emphasized the strong bond between the Netherlands and France, but criticized the Dutch policies on corporate tax and pulse fishing, NOS reports.
King Willem-Alexander received the French president in an official welcome ceremony at Noordeinde Palace, after which Prime Minister Mark Rutte met with him. The two heads of state then gave a press conference together.
Princess Amalia wants to finish her secondary school studies in China. The 14-year-old crown princess of the Netherlands plans to attend UWC Changshu from next year - a sister school to the Atlantic College in Wales, that King Willem-Alexander attended for two years in the 80's, the Telegraaf reports.
Government information service Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst would not comment on this rumor to the newspaper on Wednesday. But on Thursday a message in Dutch suddenly appeared on the UWC Changshu website, stating that "the registration for the school years 2018-2020 is closed".
Dutch skater Sven Kramer won gold in the 5 thousand meter track skating at the Winter Olympics in Gangneung on Sunday. Not only did he finish in a record time of 6,09.76, but this is also his third consecutive Olympic medal for the 5 thousand meters. With that Kramer goes down in history as the first ever man to win the same Olympic skating event three times in a row, NOS reports.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima are dropping in for tea with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday on their way to the opening of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Prime Minister Mark Rutte will lead an official visit to China in April, sources told the Telegraaf on Wednesday.
The Dutch King will spend only one day in China before traveling to South Korea for the Olympic Winter Games, NOS reports. Queen Maxima still has some appointments in China on Thursday.
In his annual Christmas speech, King Willem-Alexander called on the people of the Netherlands not to get caught up in their own little worlds. But instead to work towards forming a stronger community. The full text of his speech, given from the Eikenhorst palace in Wassenaar, can be found below:
Healthily turning fifty and being able to celebrate it with many people together is a fantastic gift. I am grateful that I could experience this this year.