Although there was a great deal of celebrating this week for the last Queen’s Day, my silence hasn’t been the result of the world’s largest hangover. With a break in work for a few days, I decided to take a bit of an impromptu vacation, even it there was no travel. Since I write for a living, it was kind of nice to take a short break from blogging, as well.
Still, I couldn’t resist posting a few photos from Queen’s Day and mention a few of the interesting things I found out watching the investiture of the new king. The day itself went smoothly, with no major issues, although two anti-monarchy protesters were arrested — unjustly, as it turns out.
The vrijmarkt (the massive yard sale) went on as usual, although it was definitely a little thinner in places than in past years. It turns out that Utrecht typically has one of the largest vrijmarkten in the country. We wandered through a good chunk of it, but didn’t end up buying anything this year.
Overall, it was definitely quieter this year. Either more people went to Amsterdam to be there for the royal events or more people stayed home to watch it all on TV. We were in and out, watching the abdication in the morning, then heading out to the vrijmarkt, and then heading home again to watch the actual investiture of the king. We seemed to catch a lot of spots in town in between performances, but still saw a few impromptu performances.
As for the investiture (it’s not technically a coronation, since the Dutch royals don’t actually wear the crown), it was interesting to watch. Maxima, the king’s wife, was stunning in her blue gown, but her attempts to keep from grinning like mad were fantastic to watch. Lots of people were commenting on it. By the time they finally took the boat tour in the evening, there was no stopping her smiles.
Interestingly, the investiture of the king is almost more of a political event, in that the king swears support to the country and the members of the government then also swear support of the king. (However, the royals are ceremonial and even Queen Beatrix lessened her involvement toward the end of her time as queen.) During the ceremony, each individual from the government stood and recited a pledge of support. What was interesting to see was that there was both a secular and religious response, depending on the preference of the politician.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a few links to other articles about the abdication/investiture, and also the Go Fug Yourself photo recap of both the dinner and the investiture. It’s worth checking out their site for some bits of interesting gossip about various attendees. They did quite a bit of research!
Go Fug Yourself: Abdication/Investiture
11 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed to Know About the Dutch Monarchy
NY Times: A King Takes the Throne, A Nation Celebrates
Good to rest those poor fingers, and brain language-areas – even for a short while!
I definitely needed a break, especially after recently finishing a labour-intensive writing job that took three months!
Finally managed to make the free wi-fi here in the hotel work, though I must admit being completely offline is quite nice (in Nice 🙂 for a change. I totally missed the ceremony, by the time I checked if there was an online realtime feed it was all over! I’ll check when I’m back. In the meantime I’m enjoying the sun , sea and food (who knew Nice was the foodie capital of France, there’s too many delicacy shops, stalls and little quirky restaurants here to count). Good to hear you took a little break from the typing as well, you deserve it! Bon soir!
Ooo! Enjoy all the food! It sounds wonderful!
It is, but I dread to step on to my scale when I get back… I’ve done a huge amount of walking, so I hope that balances out my calory intake a bit :-S But having a great time, it’s around 20 degrees and sunny with a nice sea breeze, and it’s not too overcrowded with tourists yet. Quirky little hotel as well, 5 mins from the sea and old centre and with 2 live-in turtles that scurry around the place (they scared the hell out of me the first morning!) 🙂
Reblogged this on Resident Alien — Being Dutch in America.
They said on the new that Amsterdam was more quite then normal as well. I guess a lot of people wanted to see the ceremony on TV but I’m just guessing.
I saw something on the news that said they had essentially the same number of people as usual — less than they expected. I guess people were watching on tv and were also thinking it would be a madhouse, so decided to skip the Amsterdam festivities!