Dutch Royals Unveil Queen’s Day 2009 Memorial Ahead of 2010 Edition
A somber day for the Dutch Royal Family today, as they attended the unveiling of the memorial dedicated to the victims of last year’s Koninginnedag tragedy in Apeldoorn. The event was attended by nearly all senior members of the family, as well as the families of the seven victims.
Several members of the victims’ families spoke to the gathering, causing several of the Princesses to pull out tissues and handkerchiefs to dry their eyes. Mayor de Graaf also gave a speech, in which he said of the victims, “Their lives did not end last year.” Students from a local secondary school read a poem to the audience: “Glasgerinkel op het buffet. Het feest brak en iedereen was ongelukkig.” (“Tinkling glass on the sideboard. The party broke and everyone was unhappy.”)
After this, under the watchful eye of hundreds of members of the public, Queen Beatrix and Mayor de Graaf stepped forward to officially reveal the memorial.
A minute of silence was then observed, as hundreds of white balloons were released into the air by the public lining the street surrounding the area. Family members then began laying white long-stemmed roses at the base of the memorial, before the Royal Family did the same.
The memorial was designed by Menno Jonker, and features a dark grey solid box with a glass top revealing the seven glass bubbles inside – one for each of the victims, symbolising “vulnerability, celebration and mourning,” according to the Dutch press. A video of the event can be found here.
Tomorrow, the Royal Family will attend the 2010 Koninginnedag celebrations in Zeeland, in the town of Wemeldinge and the city of Middelburg. There will be increased security for the day which also marks Queen Beatrix’s 30th anniversary on the Dutch throne.Filed under The Netherlands
Tagged Koninginnedag 2009 Tragedy, Koningsdag, Memorial, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.