King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands ended their Greece vacation early after receiving a heap of public criticism. The Dutch royal couple responded to those who shamed them for traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic with an official statement on Friday, October 16.
“We will abandon our vacation,” they said point blank in their response published by the Royal House. “We have seen people‘s reactions to media reports. And they are intense, and they have affected us.”
“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 King and Queen continued. “The discussion around our holiday does not contribute to that.”
While they didn’t technically break any of Netherlands’ lockdown rules, the government had strongly discouraged unnecessary travel. The 53-year-old monarch and 49-year-old Queen went to their private villa in Kranidi, a town in Southern Greece. That region is currently under a mild Code Yellow travel warning from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This means people from the Netherlands are able to travel at their own risk.
However, just last week a coronavirus road map released by the government displayed the severity of the situation in the Netherlands. It was clear that all unnecessary travel plans should be scrapped, prompting the public to negatively react to the King and Queen’s holiday.
This isn’t the first time the Dutch duo have landed in hot water during the pandemic. They released a public statement after a rule-breaking photo surfaced of them back in August. Get all the details here!