King Willem-Alexander & Maxima dealt with one protest on their Caribbean tour
The Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princess Catharina-Amalia are in the middle of a two-week tour of the Dutch Caribbean islands. Some of our photo agencies have been getting access to the photos and the optics are okay – the Dutch royals have mostly taken pains to avoid the racist and colonialist imagery of the Windsors’ Caribbean tours last year, which saw Prince William and Kate staggering from one tone-deaf photo-op to the next, unable to improvise or update.
Now, has everything been perfect with the Dutch royals? From the looks of it, Catharina-Amalia (now 19 years old) is not really enjoying her first royal tour with her parents. She’s got that glazed look of a teenager on vacation with her two annoying, dorky parents who keep making dumb jokes. Amalia needs a stiff drink and some alone time in her hotel room. I also have to admit, Maxima’s costume changes have veered into some colonialist cosplay at times. It’s not as excessive as Kate’s Gone With the Wind style, but Maxima could do better. I thought the Dutch royals were mostly avoiding all of the typical royal pitfalls, and then this happened: a protest at one of their events.
King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and Princess Catharina-Amalia’s tour of the Caribbean was interrupted by a protestor. The Dutch royals are currently in the Caribbean on a two-week tour, a first for 19-year-old Catharina-Amalia, who is heir to the throne. Willem-Alexander, 55, Máxima, 51, and their eldest daughter arrived in Bonaire on Friday and were met with a demonstration while attending a lecture at the University of Aruba on Tuesday.
While sitting in on a discussion of Caribbean law, a woman stood up with her arm held high, and sang the gospel song “Oh, Freedom.” As seen in video footage that hit Twitter, her demonstration caught the attention of the three royals, who all turned to look. The woman continued to sing as she was escorted out of the building, and the lecture continued.
Aruba was colonized by the Dutch in the 17th century and seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986, the BBC reported. Today, the island remains linked to the Dutch as a Kingdom of the Netherlands, like Curaçao and St. Maarten, which the Dutch royals are also visiting during their Caribbean tour.
In December, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologized for the Netherlands’ history of slavery. Rutte said that the Dutch State “facilitated, stimulated, preserved and profited from slavery” for centuries, adding that “human beings were made into commodities, exploited and abused.” Rutte previously said that the matter was too controversial for King Willem-Alexander to address but said that the Dutch monarch will take part in a commemoration on July 1 marking the 150th anniversary of the complete abolition of slavery everywhere in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“Too controversial for King Willem-Alexander to address”…? Granted, the Dutch royals have been doing more to apologize and acknowledge the Netherlands’ history of slavery and colonialism, but jeez, why can’t the king address the subject?
Here’s the video of the protest – I winced when the white woman put her hands on the protester. I double-winced when the security dudes started grabbing at the protester as she tried to pick up her bags. Like… yes, it was a “disruptive” protest, but she wasn’t being violent, she was screaming obscenities, she wasn’t insulting anyone – there was absolutely no reason for these white people to start putting their hands on her.
— Rick Evers (@RickEversRoyal) January 31, 2023
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.
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