Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Koningsdag 2016: first photos

As they got ready for King's Day, the Dutch Royal Family tweeted a photo - it's become a bit of a tradition. But the message was slightly different from previous years. They were getting ready for a bit of an April chill. While the welcome they received in Zwolle might have been warm, the unseasonable weather meant that, as they said, this was possibly the coldest King's Day for quite a while.

Coats and cardies all round as the Royal Family of the Netherlands celebrate King's Day 2016

The annual celebration, a public holiday in the Netherlands, takes place on the birthday of King Willem-Alexander who is 49 today. His mother, Princess Beatrix, always marked the event on April 30th, her own mother's birthday, as she was born at the end of January which was thought to be too cold for a celebratory event. But today proved that even April royal babies can feel the chill.

Not that it stopped the celebrations getting under way early. And there was plenty to cheer as Princess Alexia, the middle daughter in Willem-Alexander and Maxima's trio of girls, was well enough to take part following her ski-ing accident earlier this year which left her with a broken leg.

She joined in the sporting activities along with her sisters, Amalia and Ariane, her parents and her aunt and uncle, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien.  And there is a huge turnout in Zwolle to help King Willem-Alexander celebrate his birthday - this part of the celebrations takes place somewhere different every year.

bed from Getty Images

All eyes were on style icon Maxima who was kind of Schiaparelli in lipstick pink top and gloves with a voluminous print skirt and a very fifties style pale pink hat.

These first photos show that fun is very much at the heart of this celebration. There will be more photos as the day goes on - the birthday celebrations for Europe's second youngest king are under way.  Happy King's Day.

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