King Willem-Alexander on King’s Day 2020

Today, on King’s Day, King Willem-Alexander in his short TV speech on the occasion of his birthday. Below the full text of his message.

National toast event at 10 am (Caribbean time)

A very warm welcome to this King’s Day at home.

Many thanks to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for the initiative to open this online day with the Wilhelmus. How special is it, that we managed to create unity at a distance from each other and thus lay the foundation for many, to be able to sing along in the whole the country.

King’s Day at home promises to be a unique King’s Day. And especially unique, because I hope it will be the very, very last King’s Day at home in history. So try to make the best of it. So that you will always remember later, how you experienced this day at home and yet together.You can do this, for example, by uploading and displaying your activities via Koningsdagthuis.nl . I would like to thank all those who put up the website in a short time. Without your work this King’s Day at home would have had a less ‘we’ feeling.

Of course we would much rather have been in Maastricht with the family. There, many enthusiasts have worked hard for months on a very special program and I would like to thank them for the great effort that had already been made before the sad, but inevitable message that this year the event would not take place. There is a Dutch saying: “But what is in the barrel does not sour” and ‘live Maastricht’ is already in our hearts.

As every year, I intensely looked forward to images of canals, squares, streets and fairs, large crowds of people on their feet in villages, cities and the snow-white beaches of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. Dutch are completely out of their minds. Exuberantly partying. One of those days that, ‘just act normal, then you act crazy enough’, does not apply this day to the otherwise so sober straightforward Dutch people.

However, this year is different. I can well imagine that many of you had hoped for more freedom of movement after tomorrow. Here too, the disappointment was palpable. But the coronavirus cannot be lectured. So hold on, even after this King’s Day.

We do it for ourselves, but also to protect the weak in our society. And to give the healthcare professionals some rest after many weeks of extreme effort. Rest they deserve to recover, and to get ready for the upcoming top achievements to catch up with the delayed medical care and, if it might happen, before the virus reactivates and hospitals fill up again with COVID-19 patients.

Today our thoughts are also with all those professionals who are committed to corona and do not have time for King’s Day. Thank you for your tremendous dedication and perseverance.

In March, we showed our respect for the healthcare professionals by clapping on the balcony or on the street. Now we can show our respect by persevering. Do it for yourself and do it for them.

And now it’s time for a party. King’s Day at home. Hopefully an unforgettable day. Enjoy it. Remote, but together. And, stay healthy.

Willem Alexander

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