Text of the speech of His Majesty Willem Alexander, King of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau:
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 form a unit at a distance from each other and thus lay the foundation for many, to be able to sing along throughout 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 home of 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 much less the “we” feeling.
Of course we would much rather have been in Maastricht with the family. There, many enthusiasts worked hard for months on a very special program and I would also like to thank them for the great effort that had already been made before the sad but inevitable message that this year would not go ahead. 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 fairgrounds, 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 do it, then you act crazy enough”, does not apply to otherwise sober Dutch people. However, it should not have been so. I can well imagine that many of you had hoped for more freedom of movement after tomorrow. Here too, the teleletting 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 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 unexpectedly before the virus resurfaces 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.