May 30, 2024

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King's Day: 10x facts and figures

King's Day: 10x facts and figures

It's almost time to eat orange cotton, wander through the clothing market and of course the big party in Emmen. Tomorrow the whole Netherlands will turn orange and we will celebrate King's Day. But did you know that the predecessor to King's Day actually originated in the 19th century? Read on to learn more facts about King's Day that you may not know yet.

#1 King Willem-Alexander measured his family's interest on King's Day

When Willem-Alexander became king in 2013, he asked his family if they would be interested in attending the ceremony. This is what his cousin Prince Flores said at the table of the TV show Poe on Wednesday. The King's nephews do not have to be present on King's Day. “We're no longer members of the royal house, so there's no reason for us to be there,” he says. “When my cousin became king, he asked us. So if we don't want it anymore, this is the moment to say no.” Flores.

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Prince Flores spoke about his role with Beau during King's Day.

#2 Queen Beatrix did not celebrate Queen's Day on her birthday

When you think of Queen's Day, you probably quickly think of the Queen's Birthday. But this was not the case with Princess Beatrix. The Queen then decided to celebrate the birthday of her mother, Queen Juliana, out of respect for her. Another consideration for this choice was weather conditions. Princess Beatrix's birthday is January 31. Not exactly the month with the best weather forecast for an outdoor party.

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Princess Beatrix

When Princess Beatrix was Queen, she celebrated Queen's Day on her mother Queen Juliana's birthday.

#3 During the Corona pandemic, King's Day was also called Housing Day

Fortunately, the Corona pandemic has already ended, but many of us will still remember King’s Day 2020. Due to these measures, it was not possible to celebrate the King’s birthday in the “normal” way. The royal couple and the princesses celebrated the day at home at Huis Ten Bosch Palace. No activities are planned in Maastricht, where the ceremony was originally scheduled to take place. King's Day is also called Housing Day in 2020.

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King's Day 2020

The royal family celebrated King's Day 2020 from Huis Ten Bosch Palace.

#4 King's Day is not always celebrated on April 27th

The first King's Day was not celebrated on King Willem-Alexander's birthday. In 2014, April 27 fell on a Sunday, so the celebration was moved to Saturday, April 26.

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King's Day 2014

In 2014, King's Day was celebrated on April 26.

#5 The first King's Day was held in Rigb and Amtalveen

De Rijp and Amstelveen have a historical event to their name, having been the site of the first King's Day in 2014.

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King's Day 2014

De Rijp and Amstelveen were both sites for the first King's Day celebration in 2014.

#6 The free market was created to prevent protests

Almost everyone in the Netherlands scours the flea market on King's Day in search of the best deals. Nowadays, the flea market has become an indispensable part of the street scene on King's Birthday. However, this is not always the case. The free market was used in the 1970s as a means against Queen's Day protests against the wedding of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus. The Orange Committee in Amsterdam came up with a solution to this problem: the free market. Given the popularity of this market in the center of the city, there is no longer any room for protests. The free market turned out to be very successful and the rest of the Netherlands soon adopted the custom.

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King's Day 2023

Duty Free during King's Day 2023 in Amsterdam.

#7 The King is 57 years old this year

Everyone knows that we celebrate the king's birthday on King's Day, but how old will he actually be? Fortunately we know! King Willem-Alexander may blow out 57 candles this year.

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William Alexander

King Willem-Alexander turns 57 tomorrow.

#8 The predecessor of King's Day was celebrated in the 19th century

On August 31, 1885, Princess Wilhelmina turned five years old. The first Princess's Day was celebrated on this festive day. This was the predecessor of Queen's Day and King's Day. This day was created by liberals who wanted to emphasize national unity with this celebration.

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Princess Wilhelmina

Portrait of the young Princess Wilhelmina.

#9 Willem-Alexander is the first male Dutch king in 123 years

King Willem III was the last king of our country for a long time, until King Willem-Alexander was installed in 2013. This king ruled from 1849 until his death in 1890. Then his daughter Wilhelmina succeeded him under the guardianship of her mother, Queen Emma.

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William III

Portrait of King Willem III and Queen Emma.

#10 Queen Beatrix broke a long tradition

The first Queen's Day in honor of Queen Wilhelmina looked very different from the Queen's Day and King's Day we know now. Now the royal family leaves every year somewhere in the Netherlands to visit the Dutch people. In 1890 Wilhelmina became queen and in 1891 the first true Queen's Day was celebrated in the Netherlands. The Queen did not visit the people, but she participated in the parade with her family on the steps of Sostijk Palace. Beatrix decided to change this situation during her time as queen. On Queen's Day 1981, Queen Beatrix visited Ferry and Breda.

Curious about the first Queen's Day and Orange King's Day? Read more here.

Queen's Day 1981

The then Queen Beatrix visits Ferry and Brida during her first Queen's Birthday in 1981.

Photos: Afghan National Police

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