The sun warmed the spirits of the Dutch royal family, despite bitter temperatures, as they celebrated the King's Day holiday in Zwolle on Wednesday (Apr. 27). With his wife Queen Máxima and their three daughters,Catharina-Amalia, 12, Alexia, ten and nine-year-old Ariane by his side, King Willem-Alexander celebrated his birthday at the country's annual national festivities.
The royal couple and their children were greeted by Zwolle’s mayor Henk Jan Meijer on the Nieuwe Haven bridge at around 11am for the start of the day, and they certainly seemed in high spirits despite the cold weather.
The public were equally as delighted by their arrival; crowds had lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the family, with many wearing orange and waving flags as they walked passed.
The highly-anticipated annual event – Koningsdag - is a chance for the royal family to interact with the public, and they happily participated in the events the city had organised for the day, which included a boat trip, a parade and a sports presentation.
The real highlight for the princesses, however, seemed to be the closing performance by rapper Typhoon. Even Princess Alexia, who hurt her leg in a skiing accident in February, was seen dancing and clapping along with her family to the music, according to the NL Times.
Up until 2013, when Queen Beatrix abdicated in favour of her son, the holiday was known as Queen's Day and was held on 30 April, in honour of her birthday.
It is known for its nationwide vrijmarkt ('free market'), at which the Dutch sell their used items, and is also an opportunity for 'orange madness' or oranjegekte, in celebration of the country's national colour.