Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander have apologized for their recent family holiday. On Wednesday, the monarchs released a personal video message expressing their regret over their short-lived Greek vacation, which sparked criticism. The royal dad of three read the message during the nearly two-minute video, while Maxima, 49, sat beside her husband at Huis ten Bosch Palace. “With regret in my heart I turn to you. Our trip to Greece has provoked strong reactions from many Dutch people. It hurts to have betrayed your trust in us.Even though the trip was in line with the regulations, it was very unwise not to take into account the impact of the new restrictions on our society,” Willem-Alexander, 53, began (translated from Dutch).
“Our own decision to return was made with the realization that we should not have gone. From the start of the corona crisis, we have done our best - within the limits of the corona policy - to find space and to be there as much as possible for everyone who is looking for support in uncertain times.It is a difficult time for everyone,” he continued. “A time of lack, limitations and worries. From fear, anger and insecurity too. We have heard the poignant stories in many encounters, in person and digitally. We feel connected with you and with all those people who have been directly or indirectly affected.”
The King stressed that they will work to get the novel coronavirus under control. “So that everyone in our country can then resume normal life as soon as possible,” Willem-Alexander said. “That is now the most important thing and we will continue to do so, to the best of our ability. We are involved. But not infallible.”
The Dutch monarchs returned home from Greece on Saturday after facing “intense” backlash for taking a vacation while the Netherlands is under a partial coronavirus lockdown. Prior to their return, the royal couple released a statement saying, “We will abort our vacation. We see people’s reactions to media reports. And they are intense, and they affect us. We do not want to leave any doubts about it: to get the COVID19 virus under it, it is necessary to follow the guidelines. The discussion following our holiday does not contribute to that.”
The couple’s video message comes almost two months after Maxima and Willem-Alexander apologized for a photo taken during their summer vacation in Greece. Over the summer, the royals were pictured not practicing social distancing as they posed for a photo with the owner of a restaurant on the Greek island of Milos. In August, the Dutch Royal House tweeted: “‘A photo appeared in the media in which we keep too little distance. In the spontaneity of the moment, we did not pay attention to that. Of course we should have. Because compliance with corona rules is also essential when on holiday to get the virus under it’-WA & Máxima.”