Dutch queen at memorial for royal attack victims

9th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Dutch Queen Beatrix attended a memorial service Friday for the victims of last week's failed attack on the royal family that killed six bystanders and the perpetrator.

THE HAGUE - Dutch Queen Beatrix attended a memorial service Friday for the victims of last week's failed attack on the royal family that killed six bystanders and the perpetrator.

The queen met survivors of the attack and next of kin before the ceremony at a theatre in the central city of Apeldoorn.

The closed ceremony, broadcast live on television, was followed on a big screen by hundreds of people gathered on a public square nearby.

Last Thursday, Beatrix and members of her family watched in horror as a man ploughed into Queen's Day festivalgoers in Apeldoorn, narrowly missing an open top bus transporting the royals before ramming his car into the foot of a monument.

It later emerged that the driver, who told investigators he was targeting the royals, had recently lost his job and was about to lose his home.

Five people were killed in the attack. The driver died in hospital overnight. Another victim died from his injuries the following day.

The Apeldoorn municipality announced on Friday that one of the injured, a girl celebrating her ninth birthday, had been discharged from hospital.

Five people remain in hospital, including a 14-year-old girl.

Broadcaster NOS said security was tight around Friday's ceremony, as commentators speculated whether the attack would change royal security and accessibility in a country averse to pomp.

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima, who had also been on the bus, were among those attending the memorial service alongside Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and other cabinet members in the Orpheus Theatre.

AFP / Expatica

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