King’s Day 2018

King's Day 2018As I have stated in previous years, you don’t need to look like a fool on King’s Day. Traditionally the day when everybody goes mad in The Netherlands. We celebrate the King’s birthday (April 27) with flea markets everywhere (the Dutch love to make a buck), dressed ridicously in red/white/blue or orange, preferably with an orange hat, wig or crown. And we pray for sunny weather. Or at least no rain. This year we were quite lucky, as it wasn’t raining although with temperatures of 15 degrees Celcius (or less) you could do with a coat.

This post could have been much nicer if A) the sun had been shining full blast, B) we had gone to Amsterdam and C) my knee had recovered sufficiently to walk a whole morning. As neither of these requirements were met, we did a quick tour through Haarlem. (To see what it could have been like, click through to this post of King’s Day 2014, the day we met Australian Donna and her husband.)

As we passed by car, we saw that the lovely park of Kenaupark (posh area) had been turned into one big flea market. Evidently the place to be in Haarlem. Everybody had emptied their attic and most people would buy other people’s junk to fill it again. Books and toys are most popular.

Below: I started with a (blue)coat after we parked near the park.

King's Day 2018

The red top I am wearing is a present from my mother for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. The brand is Hofmann and I found it in a fabulous new store in Haarlem: Studio LM. Oh my… this store is high end and holds such treasures. It is a miracle I came away with only one top. The service was perfect. I tried on a couple of trench coats when the designer friend of the sales assistent handed me this white one by Les Coyotes de Paris (second row of the lookbook). Oh… I was so tempted, it was perfect for me. But a white coat?? I could still recall the smile on the face of my dry cleaner guy when he saw me in the street with a white woolen winter coat (this was years ago). You could see him thinking “Business!!”. I know Studio LM will see me again. In case you were wondering: yes, I have paid back all the money I borrowed from my savings account. Back in business (shopping) but with plans to save more from now on. Good girl.

Below: Entering the park. It was packed. The red top has a deep split at the back and lots of bows. I love bows.

King's Day 2018

Below: Focus on the bows.

Red top with ribbons by Hofmann

Below: As I said, Kenaupark is really beautiful. Reminds me a little bit of Notthing Hill Gardens in London. There are detached mansions which were built as summer residence for the rich of Haarlem around 1867.

Kenaupark Haarlem

Below: Hmm… what’s that? A summery throw-on?

King's Day 2018

Below: Nice… however a size small. I have size large. I know nobody believes me, but I have proven many sales assistants wrong when they disagreed.

King's Day 2018

Below: Lots of activities going on. These kids were probably trying to earn some money by performing.

King's Day 2018

Below: Further down the busy park. Gosh I love this top.

King's Day 2018

By the way, I have been to the orthopedist last Thursday. We agreed that inflammation is indeed what is wrong, caused by the wrong support soles. Since last Monday the knee is improving. I am not there yet and back on diclofenac for another fortnight to help the inflammation disappear. The orthopedist approved. Which means I now hardly feel any pain anymore haha. Oh and surprise surprise. I inquired whether he dared to predict when I would be back on high heels. You know what he said?? “No problem. If you want to wear high heels, do so”. I was flabbergasted and asked him whether that wouldn’t put extra pressure on the poor knee. His anwer: “You shouldn’t worry so much. Just do whatever you want and when it hurts, do less.” Right…… 😯

Below: There is so much junk for sale. Mostly sold by children with their parents supervising.

King's Day 2018

Below: A collage of headwear.

King's Day hats

Below: Cannot remember why I laughed. I suppose I laugh easily and a lot.

King's Day 2018

Below: The girls behind me in the photo above, overtook me and asked whether I liked to be photographed as queen. Two euros please.

King's Day 2018

Below: I had to put on a regal face.

King's Day 2018

Below: Lasted 10 seconds.

King's Day 2018

Below: Ron took a little video by accident haha. Only 4 seconds. He was telling me off and I cut that bit out  😆 .

Below: Further down the park a young guy was performing on stage.

King's Day 2018

Below: He played a catchy song and the children were dancing.

King's Day 2018

Below: I was just swinging a little bit. The little girl in front of me was really giving it a go, dancing as if her life depended on it.

King's Day 2018

Below: Rats … bow came undone. The ones on my sleeves I just sewed put. If I ever want them loose (not very likely), I will take out the stitches.

King's Day 2018

Below: They sell mini crêpes (pancake) here, called poffertjes. The name of the van Pofferdikkie, is a Dutch play on words.

King's Day 2018

Below: Another cute van, selling barista cappuccino. YAY.. you know how much I love cappuccino.

King's Day 2018

Below: Fully concentrated on my lovely coffee.

King's Day 2018

Below: Concentration while I enjoy. On my left hand I am wearing a blue ring. Details darlings, details.

King's Day 2018

Below: Then I called to Ron who was a bit further away: “Can you take a picture of this?” pointing at my brooch (bought at Bella’s Etsy shop: Citizen Rosebud). Two men passing us, turned to Ron shouting: “Yes, take a photo of her boobs.” I know it was rude but at the age of 64 this remark just made me laugh. I nearly spilled coffee on my lovely top.

King's Day 2018

Below: One last shot of how people are generally dressed this day.

King's Day 2018

When you want to experience this feast, come to Amsterdam and on the right day: April 27. We used to celebrate Queen’s Day before Willem-Alexander became king and that was three days later. In old tourist guides this day is not updated which means a lot of tourists arrive on April 30th.


No Fear of Fashion



  1. Marjolein
    29 April 2018 / 18:24

    Such a happy day, it seems. Love your red top. And do you have anything in kingsblue? I think that it will suit you perfectly.

    • Greetje
      29 April 2018 / 19:02

      The coat, the bag and the belt were blue. Plus the brooch is red, white and blue. Oh and a blue ring haha.

      • Marjolein Bruens
        30 April 2018 / 09:53

        i saw that girl….not yet colourblind hah, i mean the kings coat blue, kingsblue ofwel koningblauw.

        • Greetje
          30 April 2018 / 17:14

          Ahhh… I get it now. I have one top in this colour which had to replace a beautiful blue silk top which tore. And I have a fitted jacket in that colour.

  2. 29 April 2018 / 18:29

    That top is really fabulous and looks wonderful on you! So happy to hear your knee is improving and that you can wear heels again.

    Let me know if you change your mind about Paris in June… 😉

    • Greetje
      29 April 2018 / 19:06

      I will let you know. I have to say that high heels are not possible yet. Not really. I wore these cream boots for about 15 minutes and took them off again. Tried again today on not-so-high heels but no, that is really out of the question. Silly orthopedist. I am glad you like the red top. I love it myself.

  3. 29 April 2018 / 18:54

    Hi Greetje. Gosh, that feels like home girl! I had a blast in Zurich, celebrating King’s Day with other Dutch expats, but this is the real thing. I adore your red top with the bows: comfy and stylish in one, a combination I love because I like to look the part and like to feel absolutely free to move around a lot when teaching!

    By the way: I would have been laughing too having heard a remark like that from two strangers (especially considering the size of my “girls”). Maybe it has more to do with being Dutch than with having a certain age (I am a bit younger than you).

    Greetje, thanks again for making me feel homesick in a very positive way! Love, Lieske

    • Greetje
      29 April 2018 / 19:29

      It is such a special day, isn’t it. I have fond memories of my younger days in Amsterdam. I used to sing along with songs of life (“lievensliederen”). Like “scheiden doet lijden, afscheid brengt leeeeeheeeheheed “ hahaha…

  4. Jodie
    29 April 2018 / 21:58

    What a fun occasion to head outside and people watch!! Your sweater is absolutely stunning, from the color to all of the interesting details!!
    And don’t you just love that advice about heels? Now that’s common sense if I ever heard it!!

    • Greetje
      30 April 2018 / 08:20

      Well Jodie, that advice wasn’t really common sense. I tried to walk on (mildly high) heels and discarded it immediately. Not yet.
      I love this top as well. A good purchase.

  5. 29 April 2018 / 22:42

    One of my favourite days in the Netherlands; everyone is happy and cheerful (ok, and drunk!) and chats to total strangers and shares their food… it really is so much fun.

    Your red top is fantastic, wow! I can tell you are totally pleased with that find. It is amazing on you, especially with those trousers which show off your annoyingly fabulous legs.

    HOORAY on your good news for your knee, bring on the stilettos! 😀 xxx

    • Greetje
      30 April 2018 / 08:22

      I am going to leave the stilettos in the closet for another while. I tried a few mildly high heels and no, it hurts. Back to flats.
      When you described King’s Day I chuckled.. happy, cheerful, chatting to strangers, sharing food… that is me 365 days of the year. Not drunk though haha.

  6. Geraldine
    29 April 2018 / 23:26

    Too late for us! We arrive in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

    • Greetje
      30 April 2018 / 08:23

      What a shame. You wouldn’t have known what hit you haha. Still, now you will have time to see everything instead of fighting your way through a wall of tourists. Hope you have a lovely stay. Wednesday the weather gets better.

  7. Donna
    30 April 2018 / 01:43

    Happy anniversary of us meeting!! its a pity that I looked like a total tourist doofus when we met 🙂 but what a highlight of our trip.
    I love that outfit! very hip and cool. I swear we are the same person, everyone thinks I must be a size S because I have no hips and look thin but no, I’m a M to L.
    yay to the fact that those two men were not politically correct – made my day too

    • Greetje
      30 April 2018 / 08:24

      Hahaha… if I am ever in Australia I will make a point of looking you up. It was such fun meeting you and your husband.

  8. 30 April 2018 / 10:40

    What a lovely post about a happy Queens Day Greetje!

    • Greetje
      30 April 2018 / 17:11

      Thank you Misja. That is what I love to do, make a mini documentary.

  9. 1 May 2018 / 05:20

    LOL. Your boobs are still Otherwise they would have immediately seen the brooch. Your hubby probably was very proud.

    • Greetje
      1 May 2018 / 10:00

      My hubby couldn’t care less haha. It wasn’t the vulgarity of the remark but the absurdity that made me burst out laughing. Ron did not really hear it.

  10. 1 May 2018 / 16:08

    Happy ( late ) birthday, Greetje!
    I am sorry to read that your knee is still hurting…do hope that it will be better soon.
    Your top is lovely I like bows too and have a similar top in linen, red colour suits you very well
    I will email you

    • Greetje
      1 May 2018 / 20:14

      Please do email me, my dear Italian friend. I am slowly beginning to move in your direction stylewise. As I get older I want more elegance and less skinny jeans. Although in some outfits those skinny jeans still look awesome, in other’s I don’t like them anymore. Love to see your red top in linen.

  11. 2 May 2018 / 02:15

    That red blouse is stunning on you. Happy belated birthday! Your mother did a great job shopping for you. Loved the brooch too.
    I thoroughly enjoyed looking at these pictures. This looks like a fun holiday. I’m very glad you did not dress up in any silly way. Although I did enjoy seeing some of those photos. .. great candids of people having fun.
    take care of that knee,

    • Greetje
      2 May 2018 / 22:08

      Thank you. My mother did not shop for me though. She always gives me an envelope with money. And I always try to find something special for it. Usually a piece of jewellery, which I did this year as well; soon to be on the blog. And a special top this time. She is 89 and doesn’t shop that much anymore although she is still well.

  12. Karen
    2 May 2018 / 12:31

    Very nice outfit, shows off your lovely figure. Loved the piece about the men shouting at Ron when he was trying to photograph your brooch !! Very good…you’ve still got it girl !
    Please to hear about your knee, work in progress….but at least you are heading in the right direction

    • Greetje
      2 May 2018 / 22:10

      Yes I am definitely on the mend and that pleases me no end. Those men were vulgar but it was the absurdity of it that made me laugh. Besides I don’t get shocked by such things 😎😊.

  13. 5 May 2018 / 16:27

    Looks like quite the busy spot. Funny how the kids like to get out and sell their stuff. They are all thrifters in the making!

    Your white jeans and bold top are lovely.

    I’m always asking for people to take photos of my boobs! Hahahahaha!

    Glad to learn your knee is getting better.


    • Greetje
      7 May 2018 / 15:22

      It is not the busiest spot on King’s Day.. You should see the canals in Amsterdam: packed! I don’t think the kids are thrifters in the make. More like money loving creatures in the make haha.
      For the record: I didn’t ask Ron to take a picture of my boobs haha. Just of the brooch. It were those two raunchy men who got this idea. But I take it, it is normal haha?

  14. Marilee Gramith
    7 May 2018 / 05:08

    I missed this post and have no idea how!
    What a fun celebration. I really love the way that the Dutch find ways to act silly and dress up in unusual costumes for traditional celebrations. Although you chose a different path and wore this GORGEOUS red top instead if an orange one it certainly looks like you were fully engaged in the festive moments!
    Clearly you’re using good judgement where the healing of your knee is concerned. That doctor’s advice was premature but you’ve got a good sense of your limitations and that’s so valuable. Inflamation and your bodies readjustment to appropriate orthotics will take time and it’s good that you’re open to learning how to heal!

    • Greetje
      11 May 2018 / 15:04

      Yes it was a fun day Jude, it always is. I like it best when I can go to Amsterdam in the morning but that has to be next year. The knee is improving but so darned slowly. And I am so impatient. But I do think of healing first. I am no fool. It appears now that my new support soles give me the same trouble. I am testing it. My GP agrees that it is quite possible my body doesn’t want any adjusting any more. Not after 56 years (the year when I got my first support soles). We will see.

  15. barbara
    10 May 2018 / 19:18

    hey greetje!
    wow, I am going to scroll back to read everything in detail…this is like a field trip!
    HAPPY B! The sweater is marvelous. what did you think about the comments on Amalia?

    • Greetje
      11 May 2018 / 15:06

      Thanks for the compliments Barbara.
      I don’t think anything about the comments on Amalia, because I haven’t read any (I can live under a stone very happily; not knowing anything). But I am sure they were mean. The poor child is in her teens. I say leave her alone and see in what kind of woman she blossoms.

  16. 17 June 2018 / 17:23

    I have not been able to celebrate King’s Day the proper way in Amsterdam since years now. Too bad, since I absolutely love it. I love to go all the way and over the top with dressing up and don’t mind looking like a fool at all.

    You did it the Greetje way, which looks fab as well!

    It’s a day that usually makes me so very happy!

    • Greetje
      17 June 2018 / 18:41

      I agree. Next year I will go to Amsterdam again. In the morning. Well, that is, if I don’t sprain or injure something else… pfff.

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