On the 31st of August, 1885, the Dutch celebrated their first ‘princess day’, in honour of the birthday of the young princes Wilhelmina. This was organized with the aim of national unity. When Wilhelmina’s father William III of the Netherlands passed away, princess-day became Queensday. Wilhelmina was only 5 years of age when she became queen, but her mother Emma was regent of the Kingdom until Wilhelmina turned 18. Queensday has been celebrated every year since, but with the inauguration of our new king the name changed to ‘Kingsday’.
The event itself has changed a bit over the years. Wilhelmina never personally took part in the festivities, whereas her successor Juliana invited ordinary citizens to visit her in the palace gardens. Beatrix, our queen until last year, did things differently and personally went to visit a different municipality each year, as does our king today.
This year, on the 26th of April 2014, our ever first Kingsday was celebrated, which I obviously couldn’t miss. I stayed in Holland specifically to be able to attend these festivities.