King Willem-Alexander & Maxima had to cancel their Greek vacation after one day

Dutch Royals during the region visit to South East Friesland

This is maybe one of my favorite royal stories of the year? And it’s about Dutch royals, who we rarely even talk about here. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima are, within the English-speaking gossip media, kind of boring. Whenever I see photos of Maxima, I think she looks like a fun broad, and she always seems to be laughing and enjoying herself. Willem-Alexander seems a bit dry, but maybe he’s fun too. Who knows. What I do know is that they tried to go on vacation and it all went horribly wrong! It might even be the worst royal vacation EVER!

King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands is regretting his choice of fall vacation. The 53-year-old Dutch monarch and his wife Queen Maxima, 49, have been forced to return from their holiday villa in Greece after being out of the country for just one day. Their trip, which started on Friday and ended in disgrace on Saturday, caused an uproar in The Netherlands as it came just three days after the Dutch government advised locals to spend the fall vacations at home to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“We will abort our vacation,” a statement posted on behalf of King Willem and Queen Maxima said Friday, shortly after the public became aware of the royal vacation. “We see people’s reactions to media reports. And they are intense, and they affect us. We do not want to leave any doubts about it: in order to get the COVID19 virus under control, it is necessary that the guidelines are followed. The discussion following our vacation does not contribute to that.”

The royal family’s decision to fly out of the country with daughters Princess Catharina, 16, Princess Alexia, 15, and Princess Ariane, 13, — who recently returned to school — has also caused deep embarrassment for Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. As the head of the Dutch government, he is responsible for assessing whether the royal family’s private trips abroad are in the public interest. In a letter to the Dutch parliament on Sunday, Rutte said that while he was aware of the king’s vacation plans he “realized too late” that they didn’t match up with the recent tightening of the country’s COVID-19 measures, reports Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

“This should have prompted me to reconsider the intended holiday,” he added.

[From People]

It’s just funny to me! Like, think about how many people f–ked up, starting with the King and Queen, then their staff, then the public health experts who were (likely) ignored, then the prime minister and his staff. All because the king and queen took their kids on vacation to Greece… in the middle of Europe’s second wave pandemic, with rising coronavirus numbers across Europe, and new lockdown measures furiously going into place for the past month. Did Maxima and W-A just look at all of that data and say “well, f–k it, we’re still going to Greece?” Only to return one day later?!?! That’s the best part. They get there, they unpack, Maxima grabs a drink and maybe the girls go for a swim. And then the phone rings and it’s the damn prime minister. “Get your royal asses back to Amsterdam, YOU FOOLS!”

I will give them minor MINOR credit for at least being agile and adaptable enough to cancel their vacation after one day. That is soooo not how the Windsors would have done it. Queen Elizabeth forced hundreds of people to isolate from their families for a joyless slog to Balmoral, just because she refused to change her plans in a global pandemic.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands Region visit to South East Friesland

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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47 Responses to “King Willem-Alexander & Maxima had to cancel their Greek vacation after one day”

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  1. julia says:

    Agreed, they’ve had the right reaction, but HOW on earth did they even think it was a good idea to go to Greece – heck, to leave the country – to begin with? Even if tighter restriction hadn’t come in to place, this is terribly tone deaf “oh, see ya later peasants who are affected by the situation, have lost your jobs and are freaking out, we’re off to Greece for some late October sun, how fun” – NO! Just no.

  2. Sofia says:

    Not a good move. At all. Especially not just in the current climate but their costs are also apparently going to be investigated so this might add to any growing resentment/dislike towards the monarchy (although I’ve heard the Dutch do like their monarchy from what I’ve read but I’m not Dutch so)

  3. hindulovegod says:

    I find Maxima delightful. That said, the pandemic has exposed the remaining royal families, making clear how much they take and how little they do in return. It’s time to abolish these anachronisms.

    • Couch potato says:

      It’s up to the people in the countries they rule to decide that. I know a lot of scandinavians prefere a monarch to a president (especially in these days). In Norway, around 80 % of the people wants to keep the monarchy. Back in the days, King Haakon insisted the Norwegian people should vote wheter they wanted a monarchy or not, before he accepted to be king. In Denmark they made a referendum in 1953, while Frederick lx was king, which was also put to vote by the people. The act of succession was changed so women could inherit the throne if the monarch didn’t have any sons. That’s why Queen Margrethe rules Denmark today. The people in these two countries have had a say in the monarchy during the 20th century.

  4. Judith says:

    You can literally not imagine how pissed the general public was and still is here. The royals do not have the same kind of reach and image here as the Windsors do in England. Most people like the royals as long as they work hard and behave within normal standards. Also, this was the second very high profile case of a highly placed Official blatantly ignoring the Covid guidelines. Rutte SHOULD HAVE DAMN WELL KNOWN. First his Minister of Justice and Safety thought it was a good idea to have a wedding where no masks were worn, no distance was kept and everybody was hugging, after this very minister went on his bike and called people “aso” which means rude/ignorant for not following the guidelines. (also, until this incident and the very very public shaming, covid fines ended up on your permanent record……….). So after all that went down literally a month ago, Rutte (our prime minister) should have known that this was an insane move on everyone’s part. And Willem-Alexander who likes to profile himself as a king who is close to ‘the people’ should have reallly, really read the room. We’re in the middle of the second wave people.

    Sorry, just still very pissed about how the whole thing went down.

    • Darla says:

      I love that there are so many people here posting from so many different countries. Thanks for sharing this, it’s so interesting.

    • equality says:

      Sounds like a more intelligent way of viewing the monarchy than the UK has where they mindlessly follow the media and worship royalty.

      • Lady Baden-Baden says:

        Hahahaha! Where on EARTH do you get this idea? (If your answer is the Daily Mail then I ask you: should we imagine the US mindlessly worships Trump because Fox News tells us so?)

    • Nic919 says:

      I am still amazed that the PM has to give them permission to leave the country for holiday…. it’s a great idea and should be applied in the UK. After all they are public servants and supported by taxpayers.

    • Emm says:

      Wow, I can’t imagine the windsors caring that much or even dump. Although he would never leave the country right now unless forced because he’s about to be hauled in.

      Fun question, my husband is 100% Dutch, his parents and grandparents were born here but I think it was his great grandparents that came here to the US. What are the chances of us being able to get over there and live when this is all over?

  5. emmy says:

    The Netherlands are beautiful, it’s a great vacation destination so they could have not only been Covid compliant, they could have used it to promote tourism. For later. Or stays home. I did this year and while it sucked, it’s not a “problem” in times like these. On the other hand, this is really just a PR thing, I am sure they have no problem adhering to all the hygiene rules in Greece.

  6. Sarah says:

    Tone deaf royals: Dutch edition

    I only really know her from her regular appearances on the GFY royals round up and I love her love of hats. her background is also pretty interesting.

  7. Roserose says:

    This whole thing was so confusing. The biggest question is: how did SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE not tell the king: dude, you shouldn’t travel during a global pandemic. I mean, if the royal couple really aren’t clever enough to arrive at that conclusion themselves, surely the prime minister should be?

    Lots of red faces all round.

  8. Emily says:

    >> “The royal family’s decision to fly out of the country with daughters Princess Catharina, 16, Princess Alexia, 15, and Princess Ariane, 13, — who recently returned to school — has also caused deep embarrassment for Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. As the head of the Dutch government, he is responsible for assessing whether the royal family’s private trips abroad are in the public interest. ”

    That’s a very sensible policy. I wish we had something similar in the UK.

  9. Becks1 says:

    I mean. Talk about bad optics. How did it take until they were actually THERE for someone to be like, hey, you know what, this is a bad look and you guys should come home. They should have done what Letizia and Felipe did and do a tour of the Netherlands and highlight some of the good vacation spots.

    I do give them props for returning home so quickly, the Windsors would NEVER!!!!!

    • notasugarhere says:

      It was stupid of the PM to approve it in the first place.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        you know the politicians do these things to keep in the good books and are afraid of saying no. boris has kissed royals’ a$$ enough.

  10. minx says:

    Well, I give them credit for at least admitting their blunder and then changing course. In Trumplandia certain heads of state wouldn’t even do that.

  11. manda says:

    As if, as Royals, they DON’T have luxurious property in their own country that they could use for a glamorous staycation. I’m so sick of rich people

    • Laughysaphy says:

      Exactly! Why is it so hard for these rich a-holes to “vacation” in their palaces/mansions/country piles (celebrities included)?!

  12. OriginalLala says:

    The pandemic is really showing Royals for what they are – entitled, out of touch, selfish and useless.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      yes, and blind to their privilege. marie Antoinette anyone?

      I like the apology, so kudos for that.

    • Nikki* says:

      Well, the super rich in general. Plenty of resentment when wealthy New Yorkers scurried to their luxurious vacation homes in rural areas relatively free of Covid when it was raging in NYC. They not only helped spread the virus, they bought up tons of local supplies and hoarded them in their multiple industrial freezers.

  13. Minal says:

    It seems we’re also dealing with a global affluenza pandemic on top of everything else.

  14. Lexistential says:

    I really like Willem-Alexander and Maxima, but WTF and what incredibly lousy judgment. Good for them for openly going through the rightful embarrassment, and at least they’re humble enough to. You’d never see the Windsors do this.

  15. Sandy says:

    The youngest two stayed on and only returned today from the holiday. It was all over news here. Rutte knew that too, and people are PISSED OFF.

  16. tee says:

    The Windsor’s would have just gone on vacation in secret. I feel like the Cambridges often disappear for weeks on end, and then pop back up with some vague explanation after the fact.

    Rich people simply refuse to ever be inconvenienced.

    • ShazBot says:

      YES! Very rarely does the media alert anyone to the Windsor’s vacations until they are done, if ever. Not a very transparent process, and if I were British I would be looking to the transparency in the Netherlands with envy.

      • PasstheDutchie says:

        Nah, a planespotter noticed that their plane took off and posted about that on Twitter. Cue the shitstorm.
        They even left two of the girls back in Greece, they arrived yesterday. They tried to sneak back into the country, but no luck.
        Nobody was transparant.

    • Becks1 says:

      The news made such a big deal about the Cambridge’s vacation to the isles of scilly, and then when they disappeared for a few weeks in July or August, there was radio silence. Kate came back looking nice and tan, so I figured they went to Mustique.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Because the Scillys vacation was a Charles-and-Diana cosplay event to parade the kids for PR. The Mustique trips are to be kept secret.

  17. Marigold says:

    Her outfit is perfection. I love it! But, yeah. Read the room. Or the world!

    They sound a bit clueless.

    • L4frimaire says:

      Was translating some of the comments on Dutch Twitter and it was harsh. Lots of call outs about being tone-deaf and setting a bad example, abolish the monarchy,etc. Someone even posted a pic with captions that Willems dad/ or grandad were Nazi supporters and Maxima’s dad supported the Argentinian junta. Apparently they get €7.2m in income from the Dutch people so they should have stayed their butts home and gone to one of their many castles during this shut down. Royals do whatever they want, then apologize only if they get caught.

  18. rawiya says:

    What’s better is that this is the SECOND time they’ve gotten in trouble in Greece during the pandemic. They went in August and took a non-socially-distant, maskless photo with a restaurant owner. People, rightfully, criticized them.

    And then they go back. Idiots.

  19. StrawberryBlonde says:

    Yikes. Seems like a huge error in judgement and not reading the room. As others said above, I am sure they have wonderful properties in their own country- stay there!!!

    I live in Ontario Canada and I know I will not be leaving Ontario, certainly not just for “fun” until this whole thing is over. If I want to “get away” it’s going to be to a place like Collingwood or Muskoka. Although let’s be honest, I have a 1 year old, so I am not “getting away” anytime soon. We have been doing morning “trips” to local farms for apple picking, pumpkin patching, etc. A little local tourism.

  20. MaryContrary says:

    I think in their bubble of the uber wealthy and powerful, people are still taking vacations and traveling. I see photos on IG every day showing people on beaches, at resorts. I’m not excusing them at all because as King and Queen they absolutely should set an example-but in their minds they were just traveling to another one of their homes (which just happens to be in Greece.)

  21. Ines says:

    Fun fact: I went to the same school as Maxima (only she was two years ahead of me). No, I don’t remember her from back then.

  22. Mariane says:

    Celebrities and models like bella & kylie are still taking overseas vacations despite the lockdown. I’m glad they released a recorded apology

  23. MrsPanda says:

    It was incredibly tone-deaf and caused such an uproar here in the Netherlands. We’re getting about 8,000 positive tests a day, and the country only has a population of 17 million. We’re on our second spike and the we’d been spiking for many weeks before the new restrictions were announced. They also went to Greece on holiday in March and were photographed chatting to waiters and not distancing. I also learned today they’re the highest paid and most expensive royals in Europe!

  24. Miss617 says:

    This is nitpicky and dumb but the situation was technically “Get your asses back to The Hague”, not Amsterdam as while the official Royal Palace of the Netherlands is in Amsterdam, the family primarily lives in The Hague.