Unless you live in a cave, you will probably have heard that the Netherlands now has a new king and queen, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. On the last Queen’s Day, 30th April 2013, Queen Beatrix abdicated the throne and passed it on to her son. I was surprised it was called an abdication, to English people it sounds so negative. The only abdication we know is that of Edward VII, a bad memory for most Brits. I had expected a more positive-sounding verb for the handing over of the throne. It was such a happy day that abdication somehow didn’t fit.
The good-looking couple, Willem-Alexander and Maxima are very popular amongst the people, capturing the interest of the younger generation too. They have three beautiful, blond daughters, so what’s not to like? Even many anti-royals failed to turn up to the protest gatherings.
My other half and I went to the Apollolaan as usual and sniffed out a few bargains. Not so many as last year though. Sellers were asking higher prices but I was very pleased with the unworn Little Black Dress I picked up for 12,50 euros. Not least of all because my anti-shopping device, otherwise known as The Hub, couldn’t say, ‘but you’ve already got a LBD,’ because, I haven’t!
Around 2pm when the swearing-in ceremony began, many stallholders abandoned their wares and scurried off home. So leftover stuff was free. Some kindly people put their telly out on the street for passersby and neighbourhood friends to watch. We had the best of both worlds, soaking up the atmosphere and watching the highlights of the ceremony on TV.
After sampling the bargains, music and food on offer we availed ourselves of the facilities at the Hilton Hotel! Very kind of them to offer free toilet use to Queen’s Day revellers. Mind you, only the better class of people come to the Apollolaan…
Then before I got in my pink car to go home, we sampled some bitterballen. Crispy, fried balls filled with meat and floury potato. Very tasty with a dab of mustard. If you try them do be very careful as the soft insides are always extremely hot. It’s best to break them open, let them steam a bit, then take your first bite. You have been warned!