Land in lockdown, king on holiday

Following a public outcry the Dutch royal family has returned from a holiday in Greece after just one day. While the Netherlands is in partial lockdown and restaurants and other facilities have had to close for at least four weeks, King Willem-Alexander and his family had flown in a government plane to the Peloponnese region, where they own a villa.

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De Volkskrant (NL) /

Jet set proletarians

Bert Wagendorp takes the monarch to task in his column in De Volkskrant:

“He bears no responsibility yet has a huge annual income. That spoils the character. Is it any surprise that the family behaves like spoiled jet-set proletarians who don't give a damn about the rest of the world? The reactions to his holiday in the media were 'fierce and they have upset us', the king said. So once again the media were to blame. ... We could also decide to make our country a proud republic again. Then the Oranjes can go on holiday wherever and whenever they want.”

De Telegraaf (NL) /

Willem-Alexander lacks a social antenna

Even if Prime Minister Mark Rutte assumed political responsibility for the PR debacle - as the constitution stipulates - the king was the one who made the mistake, De Telegraaf is quick to note:

“Since taking office, King Willem-Alexander has tried to be a symbol of unity. Now, with his botched holiday in Greece, he himself has tarnished this image. ... And even if Rutte is responsible, he certainly didn't suggest that the king fly to Greece. The prime minister hardly plans the royal family's holidays, and the same goes for his otherwise much vaunted advisors. This is all about the king's own social antenna - or rather, his lack of one.”