Oh, and it's also the first King's Day in the Netherlands. Ever. Koningdag. Which is also kind of special. But absolutely not why everyone is flying flags and dancing in the streets.
Noticed how everyone around you is still calling today Koninginnedag - that's because this kind of change takes time to get used to. Since this day of royal celebration began, back in 1885, it has been Queen's Day, marking the birth day of the reigning Dutch queen. Until Beatrix came to the throne that is. She kept the celebration of Queen's Day as her mother's birthday on 30 April, instead of changing the date to her own birthday in January. For weather reasons. Who wants to party outside in January? In the Netherlands? No one, not even to mark 200 blog posts.
Last year, on the last day of April the Netherlands celebrated Queen's Day for the last time, at least for a while until one of Willem-Alexander's three daughters takes over the throne. Beatrix handed over the royal reigns to her son and he became the first King of the Netherlands since Willem III left the throne in 1890. Hence, there has been no previous King's Day celebration in the Netherlands.
|Everything wears orange|
on Queen's/King's Day
So, one of his first actions as king was to piss off a lot of Dutch people who lost their day off work (had it remained the 30th April we'd all be dancing in the streets on a Wednesday, a bank holiday, a day off). Luckily for him, I believe, he was quickly forgiven.
So here we are. King's Day. My father and stepmother are actually flying over from England for this very historic, special occasion (well, that and their grandson's 4th birthday) but I'm guessing it will be pretty much like every other Queen's Day you may or may not have had the pleasure to
celebrate. It's a lot of fun - and the only day of the year you can just willy-nilly lay a blanket on the floor and sell your unwanted belongings to passersby.
|More crap being sold than you can shake a stick at|
What do you have planned? Where will you be spending the first Dutch King's Day?