Thursday, April 30, 2015

King's Day Celebration

On the heels of my own "Dutch celebration" last week, it's appropriate that this week we celebrated the King's 48th birthday.

It used to be the Queen's birthday, every April 30th!  But when Beatrix abdicated her throne in 2013, her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, became the King of the Netherlands, with his wife, Queen Maxima, at his side.  More on that later.  But the King's birthday is April 27th, so the big national holiday is now 3 days earlier than it used to be forever (Beatrix used her queen mother's birthday, thus 65 years between them).

Since the birthday was this past Monday, the Dutch used the entire weekend to celebrate.  Of course.  And one of the goodies that happened in Gorinchem, where we live, was...ta-da...the hand-turned organ grinders!

This is the collage I put up on Facebook, showing different organs with their owners.
(Any similarity to dogs and their owners???)

But what was fun to see was 2 or 3 grinders grouped together.
While one was playing, the other was getting ready for their next "grind."
Made lots of sense.  Saved the grinding arm, too.
(And, yes, we had on-n-off rain that day.)

You know the saying "Not my circus, not my monkeys," right?
Even organ grinders are being politically correct these days.

Are you fascinated by contraptions like this?
I think it would be quite fun to belong to an organ-grinder's society!

Speaking of which, look at Astrid go!
As soon as we approached this grinder, he immediately offered her the reins.
No one could have wiped that smile off her face, trust me.

And then he talked to her about his hobby...and gave her one of his CDs.
He said he was one of 6 German grinders who came to celebrate King's Day in our city.

A real catch for the kids of all ages!

And just for the halibut, here's one of the cutest organs of them all.
Look at those popping hats!  Who thought THAT one up, I wonder.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Actually, all the above happened on Saturday, April 25th, of the Big Birthday weekend.

Monday, April 27th, was the national holiday in honor of the King.  And that day, Astrid and I were glued to the TV for 3 hours, watching the Royal Family descend on nearby Dordrecht.  Every year this happens:  the Royal Family (including all the cousins!) picks a city to visit and that city puts on a show.

Here's a 5-minute synopsis of those 3 hours.

Did I mention that I am in love with the Dutch King and Queen!
What I should say is that I'm in love with Queen Maxima and their amazing love story!
She's Argentinian, so the Dutch Parliament said if Alexander married her, he couldn't be king.
To which he said he didn't care what happened because he would marry her no matter what. 
The entire country fell in love with her.  Even Parliament (who obviously changed their mind)!
She's the first Dutch queen consort since 1890.

That's what they looked like on Monday (above).

Look at them on Willem-Alexander's coronation day, April 30, 2013.
That's the former Queen Beatrix, his mother, left-center.
(all images above and below are from Google Images)

They could even pass for a "normal" family with their 3 girls, right?
The princesses are Amalia (11), Alexia (9) and Ariane (8).

See what I mean about King's Day celebration.
I can hardly wait to see and experience it next year.


  1. I think your life is one long celebration, even when you are recovering! I love you and your big heart!

    1. Thank you, dear Sister. My life IS one big celebration, to be sure, and I love it. I am saying THANK YOU all the time. Seriously.

  2. I think Ruth is right. Your life is one big celebration. For me too. Seeing all the goodies together with you. Every time when I see you posts, your pictures, I am amazed what we see, what we experience. All within a few minutes walk, an hour drive, within one day. We are so fortunate to see it all and to see the beauty.
    Celebrating Kings-day is fun, it is almost not to explain what 'we Dutch' do.... it is in our genes. One day a year everything is possible as long as you wear orange, grin....
    A fabulous post with wonderful pictures.

    1. The thing I love most about my celebration, MLMA, is that I get to share it with you. I really am blessed beyond measure. Thank you for being my Partner in Crime.

      These crazy celebrations, like King's Day, are becoming part of my blood, too. How can I NOT be crazy along with the rest of you! Besides, ORANGE is such a good color for me!!! :)

  3. What an adorable reigning royal family. I wasn't aware of this royal family.

    1. I have a feeling a lot of people have no clue, Maria, because they aren't in the news like other kings and queens we know. :)

  4. I fell in love once again with your country Astrid! I am like the commenter above, unaware of this beautiful royal family. Such class and beauty! The little girls are darling, you can see both parents in them. Loved the capes. Oh my. This is a post I want to save and look at again. Ginnie, you do live a heavenly life. If I had the chance I would move to the Netherlands in a heartbeat. (My favorite color is orange--with blue as a close second....) What a classy and grand King's Day—Thank you so much for sharing it.

    1. When I knew I would be doing a post on the organ grinders for King's Day, Susie, I suddenly had the brain fart to show off the Royal Family, since so many people have no clue about them. I know I didn't before moving here. I LOVE where I live. And it just gets better and better for me all the time! Thank you for knowing.

  5. Forgot to say how much I enjoyed the beautiful antique organ grinders....

    AND Queen Maxima's (is THAT a cool name or what?) dress and hat-:)

    1. Those organ grinders are something else, Susie, aren't they! I could really belong to a society like that. HA! And yes, that is one very cool, chic Queen. :) The Dutch are very proud of her, in spite of her ancestry.

  6. I think Astrid is a natural organ grinder. Grinder sounds masculine, so I would say a natural organ grindress, like goddess! What a fabulous celebration. I watched the videos. Do you understand the Dutch they spoke in the videos? The Queen Maxima is really attractive and elegant – what a hat. I can understand how happy y’all were. What a sweet little country you live in – so picturesque and friendly.

    1. Grindress it is, then, Vagabonde. Astrid was a natural...but then, she can do anything she puts her heart to. :) I do love this little country. It really packs a wallop! I couldn't possibly be happier.

  7. I just so love all of this!! Knowing more about the story behind their marriage is so fascinating! We are all so fortunate to see and do in this big wide world!! Let's just keep going like there's no my dad would always say! xoxo

    1. Like there's no tomorrow, indeed, Robin. All we have is TODAY. So, JUST DO IT! :)

      Astrid has told me that Alexander never wanted to be king, so when Parliament said he COULDN'T be king if he married Maxima, I have a feeling he was relieved. However, she just grew on everybody because of how real and genuine she is. She learned Dutch immediately. And her love of children everywhere is just enormous. She's irresistible.

  8. I can see why you love the Queen and King...they let love rule and that is the most important thing...what a wonderful celebration they have...

    1. There are some here (like in the UK) who don't want a kingdom, Donna, and would prefer a republic. But I have no problem with all the hoopla. It's actually quite a fairytale, to be honest. As long as they do good for the whole, how can you complain!