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The Netherlands celebrates birthday of King Willem-Alexander

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AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands celebrated the 56th birthday of King Willem-Alexander on Thursday with road markets, events and orange-glazed pastries, whilst an annual ballot confirmed help for the monarchy persevering with to say no.

The king and far of his household spent a part of the day in Rotterdam, the place 1000’s of orange-clad folks lined the streets to greet the royals throughout a walkabout. Willem-Alexander, who took the throne in 2013, is a descendant within the Home of Orange dynasty.

Supporters of a nationwide republican group staged a small demonstration, holding up indicators studying “Willem The Final.” The group complained about the price of king’s walkabout and mentioned in a press release on its web site that it sees the monarchy as “a logo of inequality.”

An annual ballot performed for nationwide broadcaster NOS by Ipsos forward of the King’s Day nationwide vacation confirmed help for the monarch persevering with to fall after it plummeted in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the king angered many by taking a trip in Greece throughout a nationwide lockdown.

Ten years after Willem-Alexander ascended to the throne, help for the Home of Orange has dropped to 55%, whereas backing for the Netherlands changing into a republic rose in the identical interval from 15% to 24%. Assist for the monarchy stood at 74% earlier than the coronavirus pandemic.

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Undeterred, the king mentioned he would proceed to work to unify the nation.

He instructed NOS he sees his position as “uniting folks and on this society, which sadly is polarizing and dividing, the place there are actually massive issues. I can actually play an excellent connecting position.”

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb mentioned he understood complaints about the price of the walkabout however deliberate to host one other main celebration if, as anticipated, town’s greatest soccer membership Feyenoord wins the nationwide league title. “I do not hear anyone complaining about that,” the mayor instructed NOS.

Regardless of the small protests, cheers greeted the king, his spouse, Queen Maxima, and two of their three daughters because the royal household toured the port metropolis, together with crossing the River Maas in a fleet of water taxi motorboats.

Amongst many selfies, handshakes and temporary conferences alongside the route, the king spoke to activists who requested him when he would apologize for the royal home’s historic position in slavery. Willem-Alexander mentioned he was awaiting the outcomes of an unbiased inquiry into the royal home’s position.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte final yr issued a proper apology for the nation’s involvement within the slave commerce.

Safety was further tight for Thursday’s tour. The royal household revealed final yr that the 19-year-old inheritor to the throne, Princess Amalia, was compelled to go away her pupil housing in Amsterdam resulting from threats.

Away from the official celebrations, youngsters and their dad and mom arrange “free markets” all through the nation to promote their {old} toys, books and garments. Amsterdam’s central Vondel Park was full of households shopping for, promoting and enjoying video games.


Related Press author Mike Corder in The Hague contributed.

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