The wet weather was not what the people had hoped for – but that did not spoil the party. The Netherlands has been celebrating Queen’s Day, marked by the odd royal walkabout from a monarch who has reigned in the country for the last 26 years. While Queen Beatrix mixed with the locals in the village of Zeewolde and the nearby city of Almere, revellers nationwide enjoyed traditional flea markets and musical events.
The annual festivities are normally held on April 30, but as that is a Sunday this year, they were brought forward to today. In a special survey, over half of those questioned said the queen should abdicate in favour of her son, Crown-Prince Willem-Alexander, within the next five years. Not that Queen Beatrix’s popularity is in any doubt. In the same poll, she scored over 7 out of 10 for the way she carries out her duties.