Fijne Koninginnedag

Today was Queen’s Day, the biggest national holiday in the Netherlands. They’ve been celebrating the monarch’s birthday since the late 19th century, and this marks the fourth Koninginnedag festivities we’ve observed. I mentioned in another post that it’s a lot like a mix of New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July and Mardi Gras (with more clothes).

I’ve written about it before in Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day) and Happy Queen’s Day, but this year is special, because Queen Beatrix abdicated her throne in favor of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander.  She’s ruled for 33 years and ‘Trix’ – as she’s referred to lovingly by some – is ready to enjoy retirement and her grandchildren. It’s time for a new generation to lead.

With the overlay of the royal coronation ceremony and the desire to properly thank Queen Beatrix for three decades of service to her country, everyone knew this year would somehow manage to be bigger, wilder, crazier yet more stately. As Husband and I wandered down the jam-packed Frederik Hendricklaan (aka ‘The Fred’), I turned and corrected my assessment of Queen’s Day: this year it’s the equivalent of the three aforementioned holidays plus a super-sized presidential inauguration that comes around very, very rarely. For more about the Queen’s Day tradition, check out Passing the Crown, my April column in Expat Focus.

The jumbo-sized television screens and the orange-wrapped celebratory cigars are new this year (for the royal transition), but the national yard sale, big crowds, concerts, boat regattas, barbeques, picnics, musics festivals, ceremonies, services, parties, face-panting, dancing, bands and general merriment are not. Nor are the poffertjes (mini pancakes below).

The teenage acid rock band was a nice touch this year, jamming their hearts out. A couple blocks away a younger-version-in-the-making of pre-teens showed they had confidence and attitude, even if they still are lacking a bit in talent (sorry, no photo).

And check out the cool Santa statue one guy scored. Santa for the win – result!


Expectant Crowd in The Hague Queen's Day 2013 at www.adventuresinexpatland.com

King Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima 2013 www.adventuresinexpatland.com








Crowds 2 2013 www.adventuresinexpatland.com

Crowd 3 2013 Adventures in Expat Land















DSC05172 Crowds 1 on The Fred 2013 Adventures in Expat Land










Acid Rock Jam Band 2013 www.adventuresinexpatland.com

Poffertjes 2013 www.adventuresinexpatland.com










Bedankt Koninginne Beatrix 2013 www.adventuresinexpatland.com National Yard Sale 2013 www.adventuresinexpatland.com








Bass Player 2013 www.adventuresinexpatland.com

Piano Player 2013 Adventures in Expatland











Crowds 4 2013 Adventures in Expat Land


Scored a Santa Result! www.adventuresinexpatland.com










Celebratory Cigars www.adventuresinexpatland.comCovered Carnival Ride 2013 Adventures in Expatland








Having a Good Time 2013 www.adventuresinexpatland.comGames 2013 www.adventuresinexpatland.com








Queen Beatrix and her 3 graddaughtersVideo Queen's Day 2013 www.adventuresinexpatland.com








Decorations 2013 www.adventuresinexpatland.com

Oversized Crown 2013 Adventures in Expat Land




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