Since 1949 Queensday has been celebrated on April 30th. However, this year the current Queen Beatrix will be handing over her crown to her eldest son, Willem-Alexander. This brings along changes for the annual Dutch holiday. EM lists the most important things you need to know about those changes.
1. What is Queensday?
For the past 64 years Queensday has been celebrated on April 30th. Queensday is an annual holiday which celebrates the birthday of the Dutch Queen. Throughout the country people dress up in the national color, orange, and festivals, parties and second-hand markets are hosted in every city.
However, confusingly enough April 30th is actually the birthday of the former Dutch Queen Juliana, the mother of our current Queen Beatrix. When Beatrix became Queen she decided not to move the date of Queensday to her own birthday, which is on January 31st.
2. This year Queensday and the inauguration will be celebrated simultaneously.
Every Queensday, activities are hosted throughout The Netherlands. Also, the royal family visits one city within The Netherlands where various festive activities are hosted. However, this year Queensday will be on the same day as the abdication. This means that on April 30th, Beatrix will be handing over het crown to her son, Willem-Alexander who will then be King of The Netherlands. His wife, Maxima, will become the new Queen.
Regardless of the abdication, Queensday will still be celebrated throughout the country. However, the royal family will not visit a particular city but the new King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will make a boat tour through Amsterdam, where the abdication will take place. The abdication will take place at 14:00 and the boat tour will start at 19:45. A map can be found here.
In most other major cities, like Rotterdam, large screens will be provided alongside the activities to celebrate Queensday so that everybody can follow the abdication live.
3. Next year Queensday will become Kingsday
The soon-to-be King Willem Alexander has decided to move the annual celebration of Queensday to his own birthday, the 27th of April. Likewise, the name of the annual holiday will be changed into Kingsday.
4. Next year Kingsday will be celebrated on the 26th of April not the 27th
Next year, the first Kingsday will be celebrated. However, the 27th of April happens to be on a Sunday. Since the majority of The Netherlands still believes that Sunday should be a resting day. Therefore, the first Kingsday will be celebrated on the 26th of April 2014. NdB