The end of April is always a popular time for booking cheap flights to Amsterdam, because that is when the annual Queen’s Day, or Koninginnedag celebration, take place – except this year they have been cancelled, replaced by festivities to celebrate a new monarch.
Koninginnedag is a national holiday and birthday celebration wrapped into one. The custom dates back to 1885, when a ‘Princess Day’ was held on the fifth birthday of Wilhelmina, the future Queen of the Netherlands, and every birthday after that. When she ascended to the throne, this became ‘Queen’s Day’, the date changing to April 30 when Juliana, Wilhelmina’s daughter, ascended to the throne in 1949. Juliana’s daughter Beatrix took over the reins in 1980, but since she was born on the chilly January 31, she decided not to change things.
A Proper Retirement Party
Now, both the name and the date have to be changed, because this year, on the date of her actual birthday, Queen Beatrix announced she would be abdicating in favour of her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, currently the Prince of Orange. From 2014, the holiday will be known as Koningsdag or King's Day, and held on April 26, Willem’s birthday. To ensure the nation still has a good knees-up, Beatrix has planned her abdication (or retirement party) for April 30, which will now celebrate the King’s investiture. This year’s planned Koninginnedag activities will be postponed to 2014.
The final Queen’s Day will be a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime event. Cheap flights to Amsterdam can be found at Jet2.com – just be sure to pack plenty of orange, because that’s what everyone else will be wearing.