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Dutch royals forced to cut short holiday in Greece over criticism

The couple returned to the Netherlands on Friday

Andrea Caamano

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands have cut short their holiday in Greece after being criticised for travelling during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The royal couple, who own a private villa in southern Greece, released a statement upon their arrival on Friday.

"We will abandon our vacation. We have seen people's reactions to media reports. And they are intense, and they have affected us," Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima said in a statement published by the Royal House.

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"We do not want to create any uncertainty about it: In order to get the Covid-19 virus under control, it is necessary that the guidelines are followed. The discussion around our holiday does not contribute to that."

Though the royal couple didn't break any of Netherlands' lockdown rules, the government had discouraged unnecessary travel.

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Officially, the region of Greece where the family's villa is located is under a mild Code Yellow travel warning from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meaning people from the Netherlands can travel, but the risk remains.

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The family returned back to The Netherlands on Friday

However, the coronavirus road map released by the government last week made it clear that considering the severity of the situation in the Netherlands, all unnecessary travel plans should be scrapped.

The royal couple bought their villa back in 2012, near the Greek town of Kranidi. Back then, it was bought for £3.7million, from German photographer Manfried Rieker.

The couple's Greek home is said to be equipped with its own swimming pool, private beach and marina and lies close to the resort of Doroufi, west of Kranidi in the Peloponnese in southern Greece.

Willem-Alexander and Maxima reportedly fell in love with the area in August 2010 after attending the wedding of Prince Nikolaos and Tatiana Blatnik on the nearby island of Spetses.

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