Dutch Royals Attend MH17 National Memorial

  November 10, 2014 at 10:35 pm by

View the full image at RTL Nieuws

The Dutch monarch and his spouse led mourners today at the national memorial service for victims of the MH17 plane disaster in Amsterdam.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, accompanied by Princess Beatrix, Princess Margriet and Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, joined 1,600 relatives and friends of the 298 victims for the service which was held at a capacity RAI Conference Centre.

In the glow of 298 candles, the names of all the victims were read out in Dutch and English by 30 relatives as their faces was shown on big screens. “What if the holiday had started a day later? What if the plane had been late? What if I wake up and realise it was all just a dream? But there is no what if? Only the harsh reality of 298 dead,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said to the audience during his speech on behalf of the government.

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The Last Post and a minute’s silence were also heard, as flags on government buildings across the country and Dutch embassies worldwide were held at half mast.

In a statement posted on his official Facebook page, King Willem-Alexander said, “We listened with great emotion during the very emotional memorial service to the families of the victims of MH17. Many thanks to the family, friends and all those who help them to process the unfathomable loss.”

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed over south-eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all passengers and crew. Two-thirds of the victims were Dutch nationals. Victims also came from Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand.

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