Tonight is the night before King’s day or as we say here ‘Koning’s Dag now.. it has heretofore been known as Koninginnedag… Queen’s day. It is a statutory holiday off course!!!!!
This evening Queen Beatrix said goodbye to her people. I have just listened to her speech… While I still struggled to understand everything in her quite complicated address, I did get a sense that she is remarkably grateful to her people for the 33 years of loyalty they have given her. She is convinced that her son is ready to take on this important duty and that his wife Maxima will be for her son, what her husband Claus was to her.
Queen Beatrix and her family have a special relationship to Canada, as she and her sister Irene, remained in Ottawa at the Stornaway residence with their mother Juliana during the 2nd world war.
All week long I have watched documentaries on the royal family. The dutch love their queen..they feel as if she is the mother of their land. She really does come across as a loving mother. She SMILES constantly..quite a different feel to watching Queen Elizabeth . She is very personable and informal..you actually see pictures of her being kissed by an ordinary subject and she simply smiles and takes it on. She is very fond and easy going with children. She is always well coiffed and well dressed. She is warm and informal.. one sees many pictures of her hugging people whether her family, children and regular folk.
Her son William … W for Willem is on everyone’s lips and W banners all over the city.
The city is full of these huge banners and the dutch red white and blue flags have popped up everywhere..
I don’t think I have ever seen as many Canadian flags in the whole of the city of Toronto as I saw dutch flags on one 10 block street last night. And of course ORANGE is everywhere.. tonight already people are off partying and dressed in orange.. I have yet to get a orange shirt..but everyone tells me this will be no problem as the sellers will be everywhere tomorrow!!!! and of course it is not just tShirts..no orange pants, orange hair, orange crowns.. you name it they have it.. I will be sure to take lots of pictures tomorrow.
This morning it was raining but the rain has gone and we are expecting a sunny day..perhaps 15 degrees …so just fine!!!
Tomorrow at 10 Willem will be crowned the King of the Netherlands. Tonight they are having dinner with their guests, right next door to me at the Rijksmuseum.. you can see the sun going down behind the museum as I took this picture from my third floor living room window..their they sit tonight with royalty from all over the world.
For those of you interested.. Maxima is quite fashionable.. I heard one fashion guru say tonight she is the cocktail to Willem the regular andwich… .. such a dutch analogy … they love their bread by the way!!!!So again for the fashionistas Maxima is wearing a red ruffle dress by Valentino.. Very dutch, she has worn this dress before. Last week in an tv interview with Willem and Maxima, they asked her what she would wear and she said..oh she would find something in her closet… therefore I was of course curious to see if this is what she would do..and she did.
An interesting fact, kings and queens are not invited to this event.. no for a crowning only the princess and princesses are invited.. kings and queens may overshadow the new king..so protocol has it that only those who stand in line to be kings and queens are in attendance. Prince Philipp has arrived with Camille. An interesting point of fact…this is the second time he will attend a crowning in Holland. He also attended Beatrix’s crowning 33 years ago.. I wonder what thoughts are going through his head tonight. Prince Felipe and princess Letizia of Spain are here and Danish crown prince Frederik and his wife Princess Mary. Many of them are actually friends of Willem and Maxima.
Well I am now opening a bottle of wine..time to toast the queen, her son and Maxima.. interestingly people are already filing the Dam..for tomorrows celebration.. I will not be sleeping under the stars.. I will sit here and watch across the road and listen to hear when I can glimpse their limos taking them home for the evening.
Tomorrow will be a big day..will report in a few days..feel so lucky to be experiencing this amazing day with my dutch people .