Queens Day and …Spring in The Netherlands

Since 1949 we have celebrated Queens Day on April 30, the birthday of Queen Juliana, even after Beatrix became queen. That is because the birthday of Queen Beatrix (now Princess Beatrix) is January 31 which date is far too cold to celebrate anything outdoors.

What happens that day?

  • Everybody in The Netherlands dresses in orange (after Beatrix of Orange) or red/white/blue (colour of the flag). 
  • Loads of people try to sell the rubbish from their attic by spreading a piece of cloth on the pavement, displaying their goods on it and selling everything for next to nothing.
  • Amsterdam is a mad house. Boats everywhere, sing-a-songs everywhere and people coming up with bright new ideas to entertain the crowd and earn an extra buck.

So herewith some pictures of Queens Day 2012 and a collage of 2013 to give you an impression.

This year Queens Day is extra special as Beatrix abdicated in favour of her son Willem Alexander.
It is even more of a mad house in Amsterdam.

To counter balance I am also showing you pictures of our neighbourhood at the start of Spring. The city houses are decorated with flowers, small trees and you will see bicycles everywhere. We are such cyclists.

Above: this is what I wore on Queens Day last year and I am going to wear it again this year. Red, white and blue with a hint of orange in the sweater.
Below: this is what most people do: sell rubbish or food, offer games or entertainment. Dressed like idiots.
Below: a collage of 2013. 
The girl with the wig is contemplating on wearing it forever as it suits her so well. 
The people in the frame are paying to have their photograph taken like this. 
The person whose hand you see, is trying to balance a coin on an orange in a can with water. If it doesn’t fall off, you double your money. Guess what? 99 out of a 100 times you fail. Money for the bank.

Below: you can hardly see the water of this canal in Amsterdam. So many boats. Remember… the big boats at the sides of the canal are boat houses. People live there! (They must hate this day.)

Below: our local florist with a portret of Queen Beatrix in the window.


Below: the window with the portret of Beatix more closely.


And now ….for some more tranquil pictures…. the rest of the neighbourhood.


The owner of the above house (also shown in the two pictures below) is really good with flowers around her house.


Hope you enjoyed it.



  1. 30 April 2013 / 18:25

    Long live the orange spring. That explosion of colors and wonderful holiday. Hope you have a great time and show us your look this year as soon as possible. How beautiful is Holland!

    • 30 April 2013 / 19:06

      I looked exactly the same as last year hahaha. Just changed boots when I went out to see what was going on.

  2. 30 April 2013 / 18:45

    Today, early in the morning, I have heard something about Netherlands on the radio news. I didn’t catch that because I was getting ready for work, but I said to myself: mever mind dan, surely Greetje is going to tell about…and I was right! here it is your interesting post! I was waiting for it… thanks!

  3. 30 April 2013 / 19:09

    You are welcome. I usually only post outfits and such, but every once in a while, I do something different. Could not resist to show you something of this special day. Every year it transforms the whole country and today was extra special.

  4. 30 April 2013 / 19:42

    Greetje, what a lovely day to celebrate and be silly, eat lots of stuff and enjoy your beautiful city and the queen!You photographer skills are awesome, I felt like I was celebrating and walking your streets.

    • 30 April 2013 / 19:47

      Is is a wonderful day in this country. As some of my readers have said they like to see bits of my little country, I show some stuff from time to time. If you ever come over to Amsterdam at the end of April, brace yourself. Next year the celebrating date will be different: 26th of April. And from 2015 onwards it will be on the 27th of April which is the birthday of our new King. (Unless that day is a Sunday.)

  5. Anonymous
    30 April 2013 / 23:14

    Loved the photos Greetje. Especially the ones of the river and the streets and houses. What a lovely place. Marie S

  6. 1 May 2013 / 04:12

    Brings back memories Greetje! Here in Singapore it was celebrated at the Dutch club as well and I could watch the whole day broadcast life on YouTube. Quite funny to finally have a king in Holland!

    • 1 May 2013 / 04:23

      Beatrix was super but I think Willem Alexander will do fine as well.Hope you had fun at the Dutch club.

  7. 1 May 2013 / 04:24

    how fun that festival thingy looks!!stripes…my lovebrett

    • 1 May 2013 / 08:34

      No problem for you to come over next year. Different date though: 26th of April.

  8. 1 May 2013 / 04:24

    What a sweet looking neighborhood. I love a bike town. And all the orange hair. You know, one of my ALL time favorite color combos is red, white and blue. And that touch of orange makes it go to 11!

    • 1 May 2013 / 08:43

      You would have a ball on Queens Day in Amsterdam. So you. Next year it will be Kings Day and a couple of days earlier.

  9. 1 May 2013 / 06:13

    This looks like an incredibly fun day, and this year especially meaningful. Seeing orange everywhere is so vibrant! I’m sure everyone had a great time, and then is happy when it’s over!Love your red boots in the top picture!

    • 1 May 2013 / 08:45

      Thanks for your comment Val. Unfortunately those cute boots are not comfortable on my right foot. Have to think of a solution for that.

  10. 1 May 2013 / 07:37

    What a fun celebration! I love the orange wig, I really think you should try that next year. Although, your choice of attire is quite perfect for the occassion, you threw in the red, white and blue with the perfect element of orange. It’s fun and classy at the same time. I love how you shared some of the day with us, its like taking a little field trip with you. Thank you!

    • 1 May 2013 / 08:40

      It was fun to do. And it rescues me from another photoshoot in the cold. Fortunately it is getting warmer now.

  11. 1 May 2013 / 10:03

    Aaaahh.. I remember Amsterdam 🙂 I remember the bicycles, the linked tal houses by the bank of the canal.. Haven’t been in a long while, too long actually. The last time was way back in 1993! Since my husband’s company (airline) has started its route to Amsterdam a couple of years back, I’ve been wanting to go back. Insyaallah(like what they say here in Dubai) God’s willing I’ll be there again soon 🙂 The Queen’s b’day looks like fun, it’s like Halloween meets carnival! Now I understand why The Netherlands is associated with orange when orange is not one of the colors of the flag! Your celebration outfit is way too chic and cute 😉 very Venetian! GREETINGS FROM DUBAIMRS JACK OF ALL TRADEShttp://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.ae/

    • 1 May 2013 / 21:31

      It was a great day. Almost eveybody in The Netherlands is supporting the monarchy. I think our queen did ever so well. Now it is up to the king.

  12. 1 May 2013 / 15:12

    Amsterdam is one of the cities I’m dying to visit! I love this glimpse into the city and wish that every city had a funky day to get rid of all the junk in our attic!! XO ~Kim @ popcosmo.com

    • 1 May 2013 / 21:32

      Most people take home as much as they sell haha, so that does not really work.

  13. Marianne van den Berg
    1 May 2013 / 17:31

    Greetje the quality of your photo’s are excellent. I spend the whole day watching television. There were lots of emotional moments, but you know me I am a cry-baby.

    • 1 May 2013 / 21:34

      Most of these photos were taken on automatic haha. I am still watching the video as I have not seen everything yet.

  14. 1 May 2013 / 23:11

    Since I am currently on vacation I missed the celebrations. At my work we have a Dutch contingent and the Koniginnendag is a special event every year!AnnetteLady of Stylenow on Facebook

    • 2 May 2013 / 19:49

      Next year I will definitely be in Amsterdam again. (Only when the weather is fine…)

  15. 2 May 2013 / 01:46

    What a gorgeous striped top. Gorgeous outfit. The celebrations look like so much fun. Hope you had a good time. Cheers to spring….xo

  16. Happiness at Mid Life
    2 May 2013 / 07:48

    I was in Amsterdam years ago during this celebration. I had no idea what the holiday was but all I remember it was a whole lot of fun! Alice http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

  17. RedTagChicLosAngeles
    6 May 2013 / 05:23

    I’ve read a lot about the festivities in your country Greetje…..wow you’re so lucky to have royalty there! I’m so reading a lot about the new Queen Maxima, she is so stylish & truly a modern smart queen!!! Congratulations for having a new King!!Rebeccawww.redtagchiclosangeles.com

    • 6 May 2013 / 08:24

      Thank you. Yes we are lucky with Maxima. She puts the sparkle into our Royalty. Claus, the husband of our former queen Beatrix, was also such a loving man. Both Claus and Maxima have backgrounds which caused agitation with the people. And both were so loved by after the dust settled.

  18. 6 May 2013 / 20:46

    Although I have not been able to celebrate Queensday since at least 4 years now, it is in fact my favorite day of the year in Holland;-). So I’m very glad that you wrote a post about this wonderful, joyful phenomena!

    • 6 May 2013 / 21:51

      I still have some of it on video. But I am sure you can trace the glorious things on internet too.

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