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  #61  
Old 12-28-2020, 02:23 PM
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Well imo they could have seen this coming. I don't really care what he spends his money on (though I think there are better ways to spend 2 mil.), it's his after all, but anyone with half a brain could have told him going on vacation when everyone is told not to, would be an extremely stupid idea. It doesn't really piss me off, at least no more than other people doing the same thing, it just shows they are very out of touch with "normal society".
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  #62  
Old 12-28-2020, 02:48 PM
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The Greek Holiday was a serious error of judgement even if they didn't break any rules it still looked very bad and ill advised for the head of state and his family.

Not a great note to end 2020 for the House of Orange.
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  #63  
Old 12-28-2020, 02:53 PM
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According to Nieuwsuur the trust/confidence in the king has plummeted from 76% in April to 47% now.

While 67% was (very) satisfied with the king's functioning, that also decreased to 51%, while those that are (very) dissatisfied increased from 3% to 14%.

About 75% agrees that the king should not have gone on vacation to Greece in October and 70% thinks that the fact that he did was damaging to royal family's image.

About 40% thinks that the king and his family have been in solidarity with the people, while 25% doesn't think so.
Additional percentages:

Trust/distrust:
Trust from 76% to 47%
Distrust from 5% to 16%

Satisfaction about Máxima in her role as queen: from 83% (april) to 61% (now); and dissatisfaction from 3% to 9%.

Concerned about the cost of the monarchy:
Agreed (so concerned): 29% to 40%
Non-agreed (so not concerned): 38% to 29%

Trip to Greece was unwise:
overall: 76% agrees; 10% disagrees
18-34 yrs: 68% agrees; 12% disagrees
55+ yrs: 81% agrees; 9% disagrees

The Netherlands should remain a monarchy:
76% agreed in April; 60% agrees now.
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  #64  
Old 12-28-2020, 02:59 PM
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A drop of 22% for queen Máxima ?
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  #65  
Old 12-28-2020, 03:08 PM
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A drop of 22% for queen Máxima ?
Yes, although the number of 'dissatisfied' is still less than 10%. So, people seem to be more 'indifferent'. I guess their relative invisibility over the last year didn't help.
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  #66  
Old 12-28-2020, 04:33 PM
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The Greek holiday seems to have had a huge (negative) impact. They seem to have been very quiet since then so I guess there hasn’t been much to rebuild back up the popularity since then. Of course Covid had made it hard for them to been seen much but still they don’t seem to have done as much as others. That in itself would be okay where it not for the Greece trip. A year of rebuilding next year maybe
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  #67  
Old 12-28-2020, 04:42 PM
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Hopefully the Dutch King and RF will have better poll figures in 2021.
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  #68  
Old 12-28-2020, 05:10 PM
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Yes, although the number of 'dissatisfied' is still less than 10%. So, people seem to be more 'indifferent'. I guess their relative invisibility over the last year didn't help.
Indeed, compared to some other monarchs/RFs the couple seemed less present, even though we have seen them at numerous low-key visits, skype calls etc. such things do not feature in the press as much as other things do.

I suppose that after the Greece-visit it was a wise decision to lay -relatively- low. If they would have appeared too eager to engage in COVID-related activities -such as the Belgians- it might have backfired and seemed dishonest and hypocritical.

Although a public apology was needed to take the political senstivity out of the matter, the image of the king and queen sitting on the sofa explaining their bad behavior as if they were naughty school children was not a very edifying sight for the nation to see.

A large change in numbers like these should set of some alarm bells in the palace. However there is more than enough time to rebuild the damage in the years to come. As Queen Beatrix pointed out in the past popularity is fleeting, which means that the numbers can quickly bounce the other way too.
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  #69  
Old 12-28-2020, 08:15 PM
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They have had a bad year - like many of us. But crisis like Covid can go one of two ways - the Dutch have not been able to appear to do well handling it whilst we can look at the Belgian RF cousins for an example of how to do it. This is the first time in WA's reign (I think) that they have seen such a swing (even if it is more indifference than unpopularity per se) but hopefully it gives them a short sharp shock and they pick their game up next year. With 2021 hopefully a better year with vaccines etc they will be able to ride that wave of improving fortune - especially if they go back to the A team they can be. A bit more humble pie, less billionaire lifestyle, more doing day to day duties and working hard for their country.
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  #70  
Old 12-28-2020, 08:36 PM
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The Covid-time Greek trip made Willem Alexander look out of touch with his people.
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  #71  
Old 12-29-2020, 09:26 AM
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Looks like the Greek non holiday has hurt the family

https://nltimes.nl/2020/12/28/confid...0-covid-gaffes
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  #72  
Old 12-29-2020, 01:37 PM
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I am sure they will recover, but the ride might not be as easy for them as before. There will be more scrutiny, a tighter leash due to the pressure of public opinion. Maybe a bit more 'humble' and less 'entitled' would look good in the future.
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  #73  
Old 12-29-2020, 01:48 PM
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Looks like the Greek non holiday has hurt the family

https://nltimes.nl/2020/12/28/confid...0-covid-gaffes
It was utterly crazy and then the excruciatingly painful to watch mea maxima culpa apology video was a highlight I'd rather forget.

All in all I'm not a bit surprised by any of the drop in approval figures.
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  #74  
Old 12-29-2020, 02:04 PM
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I am sure they will recover, but the ride might not be as easy for them as before. There will be more scrutiny, a tighter leash due to the pressure of public opinion. Maybe a bit more 'humble' and less 'entitled' would look good in the future.
A tighter leash from the prime minister could have prevented this from happening, so that would be good. I do not for a moment think the lives of other monarchs are less priviliged btw, some of them succeed in hiding it better or in giving the impression they do not enjoy it as much.
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  #75  
Old 12-29-2020, 02:34 PM
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Agree 100% but you have to be aware of the circumstances. If the country is in a happy state and happy with your work, as a monarch you can fly to Greece and buy a speedboat and show off your privileges. But it's a dangerous thing to become out of touch or not feel the pulse of society, something that obviously happened with WA and Maxima this year several times. The Dutch monarchy is on stable feet and the country does not suffer hardship, but this can change quickly if WA's mindset does not adapt.

I am sure Felipe of Spain can afford a speedboat for 2 Million Euros but buying it could mean he sat on the throne for the longest time. He cannot flaunt any of his wealth without serious consequences.

Even more I am surprised by WA's behavior as he has eyes and can see what is going on in other countries and those monarchs are not only his peers but close friends, so he must be very sure of himself and his position. So the learning process that things can backfire with serious implications has hopefully started.
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  #76  
Old 12-29-2020, 02:49 PM
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I agree with all your points but perhaps he is not so much looking at his peers as benchmark but at the jetset types they surround themselves with in Greece and f.e. in Sevilla? In comparison with some of these types they perhaps could at times feel rather boxed in and limited in the kind of lifestyle they can live.

Hans Jacobs (of GPD press / royalblog.nl) was interviewed by current affairs programme 'Nieuwsuur' yesterday and he noted that the King thinks that he can be King during working hours and private person 'Lex' at other moments. But that is not the way a monarchy works. We have seen other examples of course, the house in Moçambique as a prime example.

Although the Dutch public forgives a lot there is one issue that we are known to care about above all: money. IMO it the weakest argument to get rid of a monarchy - the costs on the overall budget are negligable, a presidency will cost more or less the same, palaces will need to be renovated with a president or a monarch in them etc. But it is the issue that normally inflames people most.

In few other countries we have seen so much nitpicking about finances, the boat of Queen Beatrix as a prime example. The costs are rather insignificant compared to the overall budget. AFAIK we have never seen the Danish or Norwegian publics grumble about the maintenance costs of the Daneborg or the Norge, which should be much higher.

Another complication is that the Dutch monarchy is relatively political, in the sense that they are often debated in parlament. Anything they do is much more politically sensitive as due to Prime minister's responsibility it is a stick to weaken the prime minister with. When was the last time the British royal family was the subject of a debate in the British parlament for example?

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were in a spa in Normandy or Bretagne at the time Brussels was in lockdown due to terrorist attacks in 2016. There was a photograph of the two in a bathrope. Somehow it did not turn into a political scandal.
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  #77  
Old 12-29-2020, 03:19 PM
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They probably should start thinking about Amalia turning 18 next year; how will that moment be marked? It could be excellent PR if done well or it could be a total disaster with the politicians focusing on the stipend she will receive from the day she turns 18 and with the family looking out of touch.
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  #78  
Old 12-29-2020, 03:36 PM
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The 18th birthday of the Princess of Orange should be something positive for the Dutch RF to work towards as is the 50th Birthday of the queen.

IMO they need to move away from the glossy magazine image they have been portraying over the past few years.
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  #79  
Old 12-29-2020, 03:47 PM
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A tighter leash from the prime minister could have prevented this from happening, so that would be good.
I really do not think this is a matter for the PM. As King & Queen, W-A and Max really should have exercised better judgement.

I have no doubt this will blow over, these things always do. But it really should serve as an object lesson to W-A and Max that what they are judged on is for their judgement, and there are no "off days" for judgement!
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  #80  
Old 12-29-2020, 07:44 PM
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Blaming the PM is overlooking the bigger issues IMO - WA and Maxima themselves. Yes the PM could have ordered them not to go or ordered them back but that is just a cover for them thinking it was okay and acceptable to go in the first place.

Over time it seems they are becoming more and more happy to lead a jet set lifestyle like the billionaire and multi millionaires they have as friends. That is fine, that is their choice, but they must remember that for their friends around them their lifestyle is paid for from privately earned money, not public funds. CEOs and business owners are accountable to their shareholders, WA and Maxima to the whole of the Netherlands. Of course all royals lead a very comfortable lifestyle, no one thinks Prince Charles in the UK or Queen Margrethe of Denmark or even Philippe and Mathilde in neighbouring Belgium are leading "normal" lives in a similar style to the average person on the street. At times they have all probably done or brought luxury items like WA buying his yacht, for the Dutch its a combination of things in the midst of a pandemic that makes its a bit worrying. As Muriel says, I'm sure they'll move on and in a decade or two it will be seen as the inevitable "dip" all royals go through.
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