The 30th anniversary of Queen Beatrix' reign and her 72nd birthday, celebrated with a national holiday and street parties, are likely to be marked with conspicuous efforts to keep the monarch, her family and celebrations safe. A suspected attack on the the queen during the 2009 birthday parade was a reminder of the vulnerability of even popular monarchs. There is speculation she will use the anniversary to announce her abdication.
Hundreds of thousands of people gather in the main Dutch cities to celebrate the national holiday called Koninginnedag. It was billed in 2009 as ;"The World's Best Party" to attract foreign visitors. Bands perform on outdoor stages in Amsterdam's streets and parks.The royal family normally spends the day in a small Dutch community. In 2009 they visited the city of Apeldoorn, where a speeding car hurtled towards an open top bus carrying the Queen before smashing into a crowd watching the royal parade. Seven people, including the driver, were killed. At least 12 were injured. The Queen and other members of the Dutch royal family were not hurt. It wasn't clear how the car managed enter the parade area, which police had sealed off hours before. Queen Beatrix was born on 31 Jan 1938. Queen's Day was introduced on 31 Aug 1885 to celebrate the birthday of then Princess Wilhelmina. When Queen Juliana took the throne she moved the celebration to mark her own birthday, which was Apr 30. In honor of her mother, the present queen kept the national holiday on the same date. The 2009 Koninginnedag also marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Juliana, who died in 2004. World history serves up many reminders of the vulnerability of monarchs. The assassinations in the 20th Century alone include King Humbert of Italy, King George of Greece, King Alexander of Serbia, King Carlos of Portugal the Czar Nicholas II of Russia, together with the Czarina and their five children. The assassination of the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, at Sarajevo on 28 Jun 1914 started a train of events that culminated in the outbreak of World War I. And the year 1975 saw the assassination of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Beatrix became Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands when her mother abdicated on 30 Apr 1980, which has intensified the speculation that she will use the same date in 2010 to announce her own abdication. The heir is her eldest son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander.
Date written/update: 2010-04-30