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The Netherlands: King’s Day

27 April—or 26 April if the 27th falls on a Sunday—is celebrated as the King’s Day (Koningsdag) in the Netherlands.

It dates back to 1885, when it was celebrated as Princess’s Day on 31 August—the birthday of the then Princess Wilhelmina; it became Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) on her accession in 1890, and moved to 30 April when her daughter Juliana became Queen in 1948. Although Queen Beatrix’s birthday is actually on 31 January, she chose to celebrate it on the same day as her mother—partly in honour of her mother, but also at least a little bit because the weather’s much better suited to outdoor fun then.

Following King Willem-Alexander’s accession to the throne on his mother’s abdication on Queen’s Day 2013, the name became King’s Day and the date shifted to his birthday—which, conveniently, falls just three days before the old date.

1 Comment

Dave McMahon 11-04-2013, 09:35

This year’s Koninginnedag takes on added significance as HM Queen Beatrix will be abdicating in favour of her son, HRH Prince Willem-Alexander – his investiture will be taking place on Tuesday 30 April, making him the first King of the Netherlands since his great-grandmother Queen Wilhelmina acceded to the throne over 120 years ago.

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