Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Monday, 30 April 2012

Queen's Day in Holland

From 600 miles away, I catch a glimpse of the annual Queen's Day celebrations in Holland. It is the day when the Queen's Birthday is being celebrated. Beatrix was 74 last January, but the weather tends to be better in late April. On this day, the whole country has a day off and takes to the street with celebrations, silly games or streetmarkets, where they sell the contents of their attic. The weather is usually good, and likewise this year. Like in Stornoway today, it is sunny. Unlike Stornoway, the mercury is at a very royal 20C / 68F. Here in the Hebrides, we have to make do with 10C / 50F.

The Queen and her family also join in, and each year they visit one or two towns to do so. Three years ago, the celebrations were marred by a deranged man, who crashed his car into a crowd of people, killing 6. But this year, everybody appears to be having a whale of a time, as demonstrated by Crown Prince Willem-Alexander (45). On a visit to the town of Rhenen (midway between Arnhem and Utrecht), he joined in a spot of toilet tossing. Of course, his toilet had to be Orange (just ignore the audio).

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