Dutch royals' holiday cut short amid anger as Netherlands in partial lockdown

Elias Hubbard
October 18, 2020

However MPs are furious the royals left for a half-term break, given that prime minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday people should travel as little as possible, including during the holidays. A royal vacation during the partial lockdown countered such advice.

In a letter to parliament, the prime minister said he had "realised too late" that the holiday "could no longer be reconciled with the increasing infections and the stricter measures".

"This should have prompted me to reconsider the intended holiday".

Dutch bars and restaurants were closed as of Wednesday as part of a partial lockdown that will last at least four weeks to counter the sustained surge in coronavirus cases across the Netherlands.

"Let there be no doubt: To beat the Covid-19 virus it is necessary to follow the rules".

They flew back on a scheduled KLM flight on Saturday evening. "The discussion around our holiday does not contribute to that".

A spokeswoman for the Royal House said it could not comment on the monarch's "private affairs, and holidays are included in that". 'The is was not a good example to the rest of the Dutch, ' said Labour MP Attje Keuken, who questioned why Rutte had allowed the trip to go ahead.

"If Rutte had said that this was a bad idea, you can assume that the king would have changed his plans", said Peter Rehwinkel of the PvdA party.

The GroenLinks leader branded the holiday "an error in judgment", adding that cutting it short was the "only correct decision". On Saturday, more than 8,000 new cases were recorded for the first time since the country's outbreak began.

The royal couple bought their villa back in 2012, near the Greek town of Kranidi.

Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima issued an apology after a previous vacation to Greece, in August, after a photo was published showing them breaking social distancing guidelines on the island of Milos.

It comes as King Willem-Alexander faces growing criticism for being out of touch, with Mr Rutte recently ordering a review of the annual budget for the royal family, under pressure from opposition lawmakers.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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