Tag: Greek

Dutch King Willem-Alexander Apologizes After Greek Vacation Scandal

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima are in hot water with their royal subjects after taking an ill-timed vacation to Greece last week, even as the Netherlands was in the midst of a partial lockdown.

On Friday, the royal couple and their three teenage daughters left Amsterdam on a government jet to enjoy some time away at their private Grecian villa. In the meantime, coronavirus cases in the Netherlands had doubled over the previous two weeks, and the government advised citizens to travel as little as possible. In response to the backlash, the King, Queen, and their youngest daughter, Princess Ariane, flew back home via a scheduled flight the very next day, while their two eldest daughters, Princess Alexia and Princess Catharina-Amalia, returned Tuesday. On Wednesday, the royals released a video apologizing for the poorly-planned family holiday.

In the video, King Willem-Alexander says, “It hurts to have betrayed your faith in us. Even though the trip was in accordance with regulations, it was very unwise to not take into account the impact of the new constraints on our society. Our own decision to return was made from the realization that we should not have gone. From the beginning of the corona crisis, we have done our best to stay within the confines of the corona policy, to find space, and to be there as much as possible for everyone who seeks support in uncertain times. It is a difficult time for everyone, a time of limitations, concerns, fear, anger, and uncertainty. We will continue to work with you to fight the coronavirus and get it under control so that everyone in our country can resume normal life as soon as possible.”

In a letter to parliament on Sunday, the country’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte admitted that he was also culpable for the incident, as he was aware of the King’s plans but “realized too late” that the royal holiday “could no longer be reconciled with the increasing infections and the stricter measures,” adding, “This should have prompted me to reconsider the intended holiday. I bear full ministerial responsibility.”

This is actually the second time a Greek vacation has come back to bite the Dutch royals. In August, the King and Queen also had to apologize after a photo of them standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a restaurant owner on the Greek island of Milos emerged in violation of social-distancing guidelines. The King and Queen wrote in a tweet at the time, “In the spontaneity of the moment, we did not pay enough attention to that. Of course we should have. Because compliance with corona rules is also essential on vacations to get the virus under control.”

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Dutch king expresses regret over Greek family vacation amid COVID-19

The Associated Press
Published 9:15 a.m. ET Oct. 21, 2020

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USA TODAY

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch king issued a video message Wednesday saying he had “regret in the heart” and he shouldn’t have flown to Greece for a family vacation last week, a trip that was quickly broken off amid public uproar back home where people are being urged to stay home as much as possible to battle the coronavirus.

“It hurts to have betrayed your faith in us,” a somber King Willem-Alexander said in the video, which shows him sitting next to his wife, Queen Maxima, at their palace in a forest in The Hague.

It is highly unusual for a Dutch monarch to issue such a contrite message to the nation. The vacation also has been politically damaging for Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who under the Dutch constitution is responsible for the king’s actions.

Willem-Alexander and his family flew to Greece, where they have a vacation home, on Friday, but the king, queen and one of their daughters returned home Saturday night. Their two other daughters flew home later.

In this Sept. 17, 2019 file photo, Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima wave from the balcony of royal palace Noordeinde in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo: Peter Dejong, AP)

The vacation came just days after the Dutch government introduced what it called a “partial lockdown” in a bid to rein in soaring coronavirus infections in the country.

“Even though the trip was within the regulations, it was very unwise not to take into account the impact of the new restrictions on our society,” the king said.

“Our own decision to return was taken in the realization that we should not have gone.” he added.

“We will continue to work with you to get the coronavirus under control. So that everyone in our country can then resume normal life as soon as possible,” Willem-Alexander said. “That is the most important thing now and we will continue to do so, to the best of our ability. We are involved. But not infallible.”

More: Dutch king cancels rest of vacation and returns home after lockdown uproar

More: Queen Elizabeth II, joined by Prince William, makes her first public outing since COVID-19 isolation

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Dutch king expresses regret at Greek family vacation

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch king issued a video message Wednesday saying he had “regret in the heart” and he shouldn’t have flown to Greece for a family vacation last week, a trip that was quickly broken off amid public uproar back home where people are being urged to stay home as much as possible to battle the coronavirus.

“It hurts to have betrayed your faith in us,” a somber King Willem-Alexander said in the video, which shows him sitting next to his wife, Queen Maxima, at their palace in a forest in The Hague.

It is highly unusual for a Dutch monarch to issue such a contrite message to the nation. The vacation also has been politically damaging for Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who under the Dutch constitution is responsible for the king’s actions.

Willem-Alexander and his family flew to Greece, where they have a vacation home, on Friday, but the king, queen and one of their daughters returned home Saturday night. Their two other daughters flew home later.


The vacation came just days after the Dutch government introduced what it called a “partial lockdown” in a bid to rein in soaring coronavirus infections in the country.

“Even though the trip was within the regulations, it was very unwise not to take into account the impact of the new restrictions on our society,” the king said.

“Our own decision to return was taken in the realization that we should not have gone.” he added.

“We will continue to work with you to get the coronavirus under control. So that everyone in our country can then resume normal life as soon as possible,” Willem-Alexander said. “That is

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King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands forced to ‘abort’ Greek vacation

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands will think twice before embarking on vacation during a pandemic.

The 53-year-old Dutch monarch and his wife, Queen Maxima, were forced to return from their holiday villa in Greece after being out of the country for one day.

The trip caused an uproar in the Netherlands. News of the trip came three days after the Dutch government advised locals to spend fall vacations at home to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The vacation started on Friday and ended immediately on Saturday after the public became aware of the royal getaway.

PRINCE WILLIAM REFUSED TO ATTEND LUNCH WITH PRINCE HARRY AMID ‘MEGXIT,’ ROYAL EXPERT CLAIMS

“We will abort our vacation,” a statement posted on behalf of Willem-Alexander and Maxima, 49, said Friday.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. The 53-year-old Dutch monarch and his wife were forced to return from their holiday villa in Greece after being out of the country for one day.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. The 53-year-old Dutch monarch and his wife were forced to return from their holiday villa in Greece after being out of the country for one day.
(Getty)

“We see people’s reactions to media reports,” the statement continued. “And they are intense, and they affect us. We do not want to leave any doubts about it: to get the COVID-19 virus under control, it is necessary to follow the guidelines. The discussion about our holiday does not contribute to that.”

The royal couple was jetting off to Greece with their daughters Princess Catharina-Amalia, 16, Princess Alexia, 15, and Princess Ariane, 13, People magazine reported. The teens recently returned to school.

The outlet noted that the royal family’s decision to fly out of the country has deeply embarrassed Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. As head of the Dutch government, the 53-year-old is “responsible for assessing whether the royal’s family private trips abroad are in the public interest.”

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Rutte was aware of the trip but claimed in a letter to parliament that he “realized too late” that the holiday “could no longer be reconciled with the increasing infections and the stricter measures,” according to the BBC reported.

“This should have prompted me to reconsider the intended holiday,” he admitted. “I bear full ministerial responsibility.”

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands pictured here in September 2020. The pair's recent trip caused an uproar in the Netherlands as it came three days after the Dutch government advised locals to spend their fall vacations at home to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands pictured here in September 2020. The pair’s recent trip caused an uproar in the Netherlands as it came three days after the Dutch government advised locals to spend their fall vacations at home to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
(Photo by Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)

This isn’t the first time the royal couple has faced backlash for a trip to Greece during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In August, the couple issued an apology on Twitter after a photo emerged of them ignoring social distancing rules. In the controversial snap, the pair was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a restaurant owner on the Greek island of Milos.

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“A photo appeared in the media in which we don’t keep enough distance,” they tweeted

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