I might have been one of the only people who thoroughly enjoyed watching the royal wedding of Kate and William yesterday. At least this is what the journalists and friends of mine want me to believe.
Photo from the NRC: Reuters / Dominic Lipinski.
Although I was hoping for a more passionate kiss, I had to do with this.
Photo from the Sydney Morning Herald: Getty Images
Aren’t we lucky to live in this day and age. Having front row seats. I’m truly blessed.
Today is another day of celebrations. It is Koninginnedag or Queen's Day which is a national holiday in the Netherlands. But we are not like the Brits and create a bankholiday. As the 30th of April is today, a Saturday, it feels like any other weekend, only lots of people will be partying. Queen's Day celebrates the birthday of the Queen of the Netherlands and is supposed to be a day of national unity and "togetherness" (Dutch: saamhorigheid). The tradition started on 31 August 1885, on the birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, later Queen Wilhelmina. Since 1949, after the accession of Queen Juliana, Queen's Day is Queen Juliana's birthday on 30 April. Although Queen Beatrix's birthday is on 31 January, she officially celebrates her birthday on 30 April in honour of her mother.
This is our Queen: Queen Beatrix
As the Monarch, Queen Beatrix uses the Greater Coat of Arms of the Realm, (or "Grote Rijkswapen"). Very flashy.
Sadly our family doesn’t have an coat of arms. We are common people . Although I’m Dutch by birth I still get the jitters when I hear "God Save the Queen" it is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. This happened to me again yesterday. I remember singing it when I was a small child at primary school (in Sydney, Australia). Then at a certain stage we started to sing "Advance Australia Fair" which didn’t become the official national anthem of Australia until 1984. Which was after we left Australia and came to the Netherlands. So why do I remember singing it at high school?
I also remember singing the America National Anthem. I won’t try to explain the goosebumps when I hear Barbara Streisand sing this. I visited a international school when I was 6 and 7 years old in Athens, Greece. Everyday at assembly we said this with our right hand on our heart while the anthem played.
I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.
My ears zoom in when I hear these anthems. My body is on a all alert. Sadly the Dutch National Anthem - Het Wilhelmus – just doesn’t do it for me. I find it very depressing. I know this might not make me sound very patriotic.
I’m not much for crowds. Actually, I prefer to avoid them. So I will be basking in the sun in our backyard, enjoying the serenity.
Have a great day.