Queen celebrates with a smile and sunshine

2nd May 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 May 2005 , AMSTERDAM — Queen Beatrix has celebrated her 25th Queen's Day as the Dutch monarch with a festive gathering of MPs and senators in the Knights Hall, a walk through the streets of Scheveningen and a concert on the Malieveld in The Hague.

2 May 2005

AMSTERDAM — Queen Beatrix has celebrated her 25th Queen's Day as the Dutch monarch with a festive gathering of MPs and senators in the Knights Hall, a walk through the streets of Scheveningen and a concert on the Malieveld in The Hague.

The Saturday-morning gathering at the Knights Hall saw Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, Lower House of Parliament chairman Frans Weisglas and Senate chairwoman Yvonne Timmerman-Buck praise Queen Beatrix for linking herself to society and her involvement in both national joy and sadness.
 
Representatives of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba also attended the gathering —which was framed with music — and offered the Queen a gift, to be placed in a special cupboard in the Knights Hall.

The 25-year-old 'ordinary' members of the public who accompanied politicians to the meeting also brought gifts for the Queen and a choir of MPs sang the Dutch national anthem, the Wilhelmus.

At the end of the gathering, Beatrix was presented with five postage stamps printed to honour her silver jubilee as Dutch monarch.

On the parliament's central square outside the Knights Hall, the Queen sang along with a tribute song performed by a 650-strong children and adult's choir.

Both Beatrix and her family then departed for Scheveningen, where the sun broke through and the streets streamed full of people. Police estimated that 100,000 people greeted the Queen in The Hague and Scheveningen.

And accompanied by Mayor Wim Deetman, Beatrix notably enjoyed her 1.5km walk through Scheveningen; meeting members of the public and taking in a sand sculpture, city farm, a puppet theatre show, street football, dancers, rappers and demonstrations of old trades.

Her three sons, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, Prince Friso and Prince Constantijn, also accompanied her, along with their three wives, the princesses Maxima, Mabel and Laurentien. Various other royal family members also joined the walk.

At the end of the walk, the Queen thanked the organisers and the public, stressing that she wanted her jubilee to be marked by a feeling of thankfulness.

In particular, she thanked her sister Princess Margriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven for their assistance in carrying out her work.

An old-style tram then took the royals to the city hall for a drink with the organisers of the festivities.

Queen's Day 2005 was then rounded off on the Malieveld in The Hague, where a spectacular concert hosted by TV celebrity Ivo Niehe praised Dutch achievements and paid tribute to Queen Beatrix.

In a concert with a theme: 'This is a land to love', some of the performers included local band Di-rect, Marco Borsato, Frans Bauer and Karin Bloemen.

The members of the winning Dutch team at the European football championships in 1988 also made an appearance, as did the nation's Olympic champions from the past 25 years.

Besides the royal family, VIPs and 'normal' people from all regions of the country — who were invited by provinces and city mayors — also attended the concert.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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