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Koninginnedag 2009

Something very strange has happened, just about an hour ago. It's Queen's Day in The Netherlands, our most national of national holidays, comparable perhaps to Bastille Day in France or the 4th of July in the US. On this day, the Queen and her (extended) family are wont to join in the celebrations in various parts of the country, and this year they were in the town of Apeldoorn. TV coverage of the morning followed the usual pattern of the arrival of Her Majesty, the princes and princesses and their welcome by local dignitaries, and the walkabout through the town where the royals shook hands and received bouquets and drawings made for them by children who had been waiting hours already along the route, and joined in various activities such as golf and abseiling (some of the princes, of course; you wouldn't see the Queen climb a rope or something). After a while, they boarded an open-top coach that would take them to the nearby palace of Het Loo, where a so-called defilé was planned. Then just as the coach arrived at a crossing, a black Suzuki came careening through the crowds and narrowly missing a collision with the royal party, came to a stop at the monument in the centre of that crossing.

No one knows where that car came from, and how it could have gotten through security. The roads had been blocked off for the royal cortege, after all. The media are still referring to it as 'an accident', but it could of course have been something much more sinister than that.

All we know is at the moment, there are 14 people seriously injured, and an unconfirmed report says that there's one fatality. All further festivities in Apeldoorn have been cancelled, and the royal family has been advised not to venture out in public again today.



Apr. 30th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
Jeez looez! People are just so incredibly messed up these days, or they seem to be anyway.
Apr. 30th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
It seems the man responsible was a 'quiet, unobtrusive individual, who had recently lost his job' according to his neighbours. The 38-year old is seriously ill in hospital, but he appears to have admitted to police that it had been his intention to plow his car into the royal coach...he just missed them by a few seconds.

Those poor people he's mowed down and killed, though...how awful for their families. The Queen made a televised address this afternoon, and she was clearly shaken. I hope this doesn't mean security will get so tight around her and the other royals that they won't be able to go out in public anymore. I quite like to see them out and about on the streets; there's something reassuringly normal about that.

Edited at 2009-04-30 09:39 pm (UTC)