The Dutch King, Willem-Alexander has addressed the nation tonight at 19.00 in light of the coronavirus outbreak. The last time the King had a speech like this was during the MH17 disaster in 2014. The King’s speech was broadcasted live by NPO 1, NPO Radio 1, NPO and other news platforms. We watched it as well.

The speech was prerecorded this afternoon from ‘Paleis Huis ten Bosch’ in The Hague. There wasn’t much news to be heard in it, and maybe we’ve heard enough news this week and the King thought so too because this speech was mostly for our hearts and souls.

A comforting speech

The king commenced his speech by sympathizing with those struck by coronavirus and their families and friends. He also indicated that both the virus and the measures were serious and tough, but the measures taken were necessary in light of the situation. Furthermore stating that we should trust and follow our expert institutions and scientists.

Voicing his support for those who do the hard work

He also spoke of the good and hard work performed by all of those working in the medical sector and other vital sectors that keep this country running during this terrible global crisis.

Let’s make sure nobody feels left behind

He also said that we should stick together during these hard times. We should not leave anybody behind or lonely, referring to the elderly who are at risk physically but also endure terrible stress and perhaps loneliness. He voiced his support for those who are hurting financially. And in a rather playful twist, he also spoke directly to the children of the Netherlands, that this too shall pass.

2020 will be a year that everybody will remember

The king spotted many examples of creativity and helpful initiatives, and he stated that these are also very necessary, especially if the crisis continues and may get even bigger. “Corona unleashes incredible vigor, creativity and humanity,” he said. “It is these qualities that we continue to need very much. Not only now, but certainly also later when the circumstances may become even more unbearable.”

He concluded on an optimistic note:

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“If we keep our solidarity and warmth, we can deal with the crisis together. 2020 will be a year that each of us will remember for a lifetime. I hope and expect that a feeling of togetherness and pride will continue to connect us”

We hope so too, true words by the King.

We paraphrased him partly, the full text of his speech can be found here, in English:

Work visits cancelled

According to the Government Information Service (RVD), the King and Queen (Maxima) had cancelled all their visits till March 21 and their King’s family is currently in social isolation – like most of us here in the Netherlands, they took a moment to clap for the nationwide applause organised in tribute to healthcare workers in the Netherlands:

Feat image: still of the speech as aired on NOS

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