A birthday dinner fit for a king

If you're a) a king and b) turning fifty then a takeaway in front of the TV isn't really an option. Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has thrown a birthday celebration and then some as he makes his royal half century and the glittering high point came at a special dinner in Amsterdam. Along with Queen Maxima he welcomed 150 people marking special birthdays themselves on the same day as him (April 27th) before an exhibition celebrating his fifty years opened for fifty hours, non stop, at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. Oh, and there was a group photo involved what looked like most of the city. This king knows how to party.

A post shared by Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam (@paleisamsterdam) on

The evening started with that special dinner. Invitations went out to 150 people who marked a 'crown' birthday (where their age ended with a 5 or a 0) on the same day as the King of the Netherlands. Among them were 50 people who turned 50 on the same day as the royal birthday boy.  Willem-Alexander and Maxima got there nice and early to be able to personally greet all their guests and there was quite a turnout to cheer them into the palace.

The dinner was every bit as glittery as you expect a gala to be with champagne, lovely food and a speech from the birthday king as well as a toast to all his guests.

Hopefully, they all had a chance to let the dinner settle because the evening was only just getting started. The guests got a tour of an exhibition celebrating the royal fifty years which includes his cradle, three little chairs belonging to his three daughters and his wedding outfit alongside the wedding dress worn by Queen Maxima. And who can blame a queen for giggling when she sees her most famous frock on show. 
The exhibition then opened its doors to the public - visitors have a whole fifty hours, non stop, to enjoy the displays. Meanwhile, the party was really getting started and all good birthday bashes need a group and Twister. Well, this is a royal party so no Twister. But there was a spectacular group photo with all the guests gathered around a giant golden 50 and given the challenge of looking at the camera at the same time. They won and we got a cracker of a photo.
We can probably expect another group photo for the history books this weekend as royalty from across Europe is expected to join the King and Queen of the Netherlands at a private party at their home. It might be a behind doors event but with the Dutch royals opening an official Instagram account on King Willem-Alexander's birthday itself, the chances of a shared snap are getting higher by the day. It would round off days of events that have turned this into a true celebration. On the eve of his big day, Willem-Alexander gave a TV interview while on April 27th itself he was in Tilburg for the annual King's Day festivities. The dinner on April 28th was a special moment in his reign, setting a benchmark for future big anniversaries. When a king turns 50, you can expect the spectacular and Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands hasn't disappointed.


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