The royal family has learned that even they are not immune to the latest coronavirus restrictions. After 24 hours, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima returned to the Huis Ten Bosch palace yesterday.
Whilst the Netherlands breached 8,000 new cases in one day this weekend, the royal family took a government plane to their Greek residence on Friday. This was in spite of the new coronavirus measures. Of course, this led to outrage both on the (digital) streets and in the House of Representatives. As a result, the family returned to the Netherlands.
In the midst of the second wave, when the Dutch are subject to incredibly strict coronavirus restrictions, the country’s king decides to go on holiday in Greece. Completely out of touch. #WillemAlexander
— Michiel Willems (@michielwil) October 17, 2020
What were they thinking?
The King and his family left on a government plane on Friday afternoon but the King later announced that the trip would be aborted and the family returned on a KLM flight.
The trip provoked much controversy given that the latest measures ask that people only travel if absolutely necessary. Whilst the royal family believed such a trip was within the boundaries of these measures, The House of Representatives felt universally that the trip was irresponsible in these times.
Rutte was aware of the trip
Prime Minister Rutte was indeed aware of the King’s trip. In a letter to the Lower House, he has stated that “I realized too late, especially after the press conference on Tuesday evening, October 12, last year, that the intended holiday, which was in line with the regulations, could no longer be reconciled with the increasing infections and the stricter measures”, RTL Nieuws reports.
Rutte has said he takes full responsibility for the lapse in judgement “this should have prompted me to reconsider the planned holiday. I bear full ministerial responsibility for the above.”
What does the King have to say?
The King has also released a statement. He says that he and the Queen recognise that their trip was “not wise.”
“We do not want to leave any doubts about it: to get the Covid-19 virus under control, it is necessary to follow the guidelines. Discussion about our holiday does not contribute to that.” The trip has prompted serious discussion both at a governmental level and on social media.
What do you think about the royal family’s trip? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image: 12019/Pixabay