King Willem-Alexander and his family decided on Friday evening to end their holiday in Greece after only a few hours and to return to the Netherlands. “For the king, the fuss that arose in the media was the main reason for this decision”, Royal House expert Rick Evers concludes against NU.nl.
“It’s not that he says sorry or apologizes. Just like with the holiday photo (in which he kept no distance from a restaurant owner, ed.) From last summer, he points to the media again,” says Evers.
“The king now again seems very easy to point to the media, which in this case really only acted as the messenger and did nothing wrong. I don’t see any real apologies in the response of the House of Orange.”
The king does not have to consult with anyone about his holiday, but according to the royal family expert it is likely that Willem-Alexander did discuss this with Prime Minister Mark Rutte during the weekly consultation. Rutte has ministerial responsibility over the king. The Government Information Service has since confirmed that Rutte was indeed aware of the trip.
It is therefore surprising to Evers that apparently no one has warned the king about the negative image that may arise. “It seems that nobody is allowed to say anything about the holiday of the House of Orange and that it is sacred. He has three wise adolescent daughters who could have been his best adviser: they see how their friends do not go on holiday”, says Evers.
Earlier this week, the cabinet announced additional measures to prevent the spread of the corona virus. Prime Minister Mark Rutte also advised the Dutch not to travel during the autumn holidays to areas where an orange travel advice applies. The king’s holiday destination has a yellow travel advice (‘be vigilant’), so strictly speaking the king was not wrong. Still, critics thought that he should stay at home because of his exemplary role.
King and queen careful during meetings
Evers sees how the royal family’s holiday is at odds with the cautious image that the king and queen show at meetings. “I was recently with Queen Máxima when she visited a museum. She really looked in every room to see if there was enough space and whether she could still keep enough distance.”
“So many appointments in their agenda are also corona-related. It is strange that you decide: we are not susceptible to corona and we go abroad,” continues Evers. “The king received a corona diary on Thursday in Uden. He also spoke with relatives there and heard personal stories. I really don’t understand how that can be reconciled.”
The Government Information Service (RVD) did not want to make any statements about the king’s holiday on Friday afternoon, because this was a private matter. The service did emphasize that the king would adhere to all corona rules and also observe the Dutch travel advice.
The full response of the king
In the evening Willem-Alexander announced: “We will abort our holiday. We see people’s reactions to media reports. And they are intense, and they affect us.”
“We don’t want to be in any doubt: to get the COVID-19 virus under it, it is necessary to follow the guidelines,” continued the king. “The discussion about our holiday does not contribute to that.”
More fuss about the king’s summer vacation
There is more fuss about holidays of the House of Orange. The king also went on vacation after the crash of flight MH17. He then quickly broke off when it turned out that mourning meetings were organized where the couple had to be present. “Then they flew directly back to Greece. The annual photo session was canceled at that time,” Evers explains.
Willem-Alexander and Máxima were also discredited this summer because during their holiday in Greece they kept less than 1.5 meters away from a restaurant owner, with whom they had their picture taken. At the time, the royal couple were on holiday on the Greek island of Milos.
What about abroad?
Other royal houses in Europe are taking a more careful approach. For example, Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom decided not to visit her palace in Scotland this summer. She also mainly stayed at Windsor Castle, instead of the usual Buckinham Palace.
“Her staff also went into quarantine and they worked in rounds. Many other royal families also stayed inside for a long time. In that respect, our royal family is on the road a lot more often,” said Evers.
Yet he also sees something positive about the king’s holiday: “If you look at the infection figures, Greece is doing better than the Netherlands. So Willem-Alexander and his family were – at least for a few hours – safer than us. sat. “
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