It’s King Willem Alexander’s birthday — let’s do some highlights!

As most of the country will be partying on the streets of the Netherlands, biertje in hand, whilst sporting garishly orange clothing, we here at the DutchReview would like to say a big gefeliciteerd! Happy birthday, King Willem!

The loveable King, who will no doubt celebrate his big day with grace and style has, like all of us mere citizens, managed to have some hilarious moments during his colourful (mainly orange) life! Read on for our favourite King Willy moments!

King Willem, King of the swingers (toilet swingers that is!)

Yes, that is the King of the Netherlands swinging/throwing/hurling a bright orange toilet!! Back in 2012, when King’s Day was Queen’s Day in celebration of the late Queen Juliana’s birthday, King Willem sportingly took part in a toilet throwing contest, in which he flushed the competition away and walked away with a little toilet trophy 🚽.

Prins of the Pils

King Willem is not renowned for his startling intelligence, but instead his endearing personality. (The Dutch king often trumps his other royal family members in popularity polls — until 2021 when his popularity began to plummet).

But previously, the King was very relatable to the common folk. Back in his student years in Leiden, the now King, was nicknamed the ‘Prins of Pils’ a.k.a ‘Prince of Beer,’ as he was on more than one occasion seen showing his love for the intoxicating beverages. Some reports state that the young Prins of Pils even managed to drive a car into the canals of the student city canals of Leiden. I mean, who hasn’t drunkenly messed up on this scale?!

When the King found his Queen

King Willem married the lovely, now Queen Maxima on February 2, 2002. What King Willem lacks in quick wit, intelligence and beauty, Queen Maxima delivers!

Queen Maxima hails from Argentina and as flawless as she is now, she wasn’t when she married this Dutch guy. Her father was a Minister of Agriculture in the era when Argentina was a brutal dictatorship. Many in the government opposed this particular connection and a marriage wasn’t welcomed by all.

In the end, the then Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok decided wisely and let the marriage go forth, but didn’t allow for her father to be present. Maxima then captured the hearts of almost every Dutchie when she let some beautiful tears run when this Argentinian bit of music was played at her wedding:

To this day Maxima continues to be hot and also happens to be one of the most influential women of the world.

READ MORE | Queen Máxima of the Netherlands: how an Argentinian became a Dutch royal

Willy from Lucky TV

This is why you want to speak Dutch. The bits from Lucky TV (from the popular talk show De wereld draait door) about our royal family is one of the funniest thing ever. I betcha when you ask a Dutchie about what they like the most about the royals it would be this.

Here’s a bit in English:

So happy birthday Prince Pils! The fact that we subjects (or in this case, subjects of your English auntie) can make good fun of you only adds to our appreciation of your reign!

What do you think of our loyal King Willem? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: Richard Broekhuijzen/Wikimedia Commons/CC4.0
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2017, but was fully updated in April 2021 for your reading pleasure.

Samantha Tinsdeall
Originally from the UK, Samantha has pursued her love of travelling. A graduate of English Literature, she is now focusing on 'what she wants to be when she grows up', whilst finding her feet in the Netherlands after being side-tracked by a Dutch man she met in Budapest.



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