Fireworks and Music (Or: King Willem Alexander visits The Hague)

Of course, I still typed “Prince” in the title and had to change it to King. Willem Alexander and Maxima are currently visiting The Hague. I was able to see them as they traveled through Chinatown (which is at best a few streets at most). They then went on towards Grote Markt, where the city hall and library are. They were treated to some music in one of the plazas areas (the same one Marco and I went to a few weeks ago for Queen’s night).

Here are some pictures that I took as they were driven past. Luckily that area wasn’t as busy – I was only waiting around for about half hour and was able to get up front.

Chinatown demonstration for Willem Alexander

rehearsing before he arrives

fireworks for Willem Alexander in The Hague

Willem-Alexander has been spotted, so they light the fireworks…

Those little fireworks are amazingly loud. The first photo I took the explosions for the beginning of the fireworks were half that size. Above is the second photo. I couldn’t take anymore because after that everyone was too busy shielding their eyes and taking a few steps back – the explosions at the end were twice as big. Quite unexpected. I think my ears were ringing for at least 15 minutes…

firework remains in The Hague

Also a good picture for seeing the crowd behind, through the smoke. This was actually the calmer part of the route – the letter everyone got in the mail directed people towards Grote Markt street, which had much more spaces for folks (that was where the music was by the city hall).

Chinatown parade in The Hague for Willem Alexander

preparing for the King’s arrival – you can see the smoke from the fireworks

The blue sign in the upper right reads auto op slot, buit eruit! It means lock your car and take your valuables with you.

Willem Alexander and Maxima visit The Hague

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima (in red, not quite visible here)

It lasted all of about 30 seconds. Maybe 45 including the insane fireworks.

Dutch police on bikes after Willem Alexander

Dutch police – on bikes! (quite common – there’s a lot of places cars can’t go easily).

After that, that portion was over and the crowds quickly dispersed.

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