Thursday, April 30, 2009

Five dead as Queen's Day celebrations turn into tragedy (Update)

UPDATE II: Just received email from a Dutch friend:
"A shaken, dreadfully looking queen almost burst into tears when addressing her Dutchmen. Compare this with her perfect radiating majestic wellgroomed look this morning! Even her hairdo lost all energy... :( A black day in Dutch History.

3rd time NL lost its innocence (after Fortuyn, Van Gogh...). The laidback character of our country is ruined for ever."

Celebrations throughout the land for Koninginnedag have been canceled.

The queen may have escaped an attack. The car broke through the barriers, hitting people and crashing into a monumental column as the open-topped coach carrying the Royal Family passed.

Press conference about to start.

Updated: 4 dead now and the Queen has just addressed the people, almost in tears.

It was strange, when the royals were having fun with the spectators etc. "bathing in the crowd," fifteen minutes before - everything seemed soooo relaxed (smiling security officers...) Who would have thought a lunatic would get some weird ideas! It is not clear if the driver of the car acted intentionally, but he was clocked at going 80kms/hr.

It was supposed to be a fabulous day of joy, celebrating Koninginnedag and the start of the 100th anniversary of the birth of former Queen Juliana, but has turned into a day of sadness.

In celebration, I had put out my Dutch flag with the Orange streamer, but have taken it back inside. The flag on the sidebar is at half-mast, too.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide

A car ploughed into the crowd watching the Queen's day parade in Apeldoorn. Two spectators were killed and 23 reported injured, some of them seriously.

Eye witnesses speculated that the accident may have been an attempted attack on the Royal Family. Others say that the car went off course with a shattered windscreen and that the driver appeared to be slumped motionless over the wheel. The vehicle came to a halt after crashing into a monument (pictured right).

The incident occurred minutes after a luxury open-top coach carrying the Royal Family passed the spot (pictured below). The coach briefly stopped and was then accompanied to Het Loo palace by security forces.

Queen Beatrix has sent a message expressing her sympathy to the victims. The government information service says the queen and her family are deeply shocked by the incident.
The photo on the left shows the reaction of the Prince of Orange and HRH Princess Máxima after the accident.
Story developing...a press conference is scheduled in the afternoon (Dutch time). Follow this channel for the latest on line news. CNN coverage; BBC report.


  1. i'm so sorry of the things happened...i was changing channels and one of the "bad news" channel that i never watch here in Romania i saw the tragic thing....

    i know Holland has much celebrating on Queen's Day, and i love Holland as much as i love my native country. I cannot believe that in such a peaceful country such an event could happen. I think no regular dutch man could do such a thing.

    I'm deeply sorry for the victims and for the shock to people at parade, the royal family and sorrow around the world.
    May God be with you.

  2. Hey Jay, you might want to do a thorough virus/spyware/botnet software scan on your system, then change the passwords to all your IM accounts. Your account keeps sending me random advertisements for acai juice and acai pills... and I'm pretty certain it isn't you. :P

  3. I was so shocked to hear this! I was celebrating in Amsterdam. My friend recieved a phonecall and said that the royal family had been attacked and that there were several deaths. At first I didn't believe her and I thought it was just a silly rumour, but I soon realised it was true. It made me so sad! Why do such terrible things happen on days that are supposed to be peaceful and celebratory? My deepest condolences to all the victims.

  4. I was seriously irritated at the fact that the public prosecutor in an interview for the NOS only mentioned attempted attack on dutch royal house (and similar charges) while not mentioning something like voluntray homocide for the killing of four people during this alleged attempt. These people are dead, while the queen was not in real danger. Leiden

  5. Sick people are everywhere, but how sick is this.. It's good for the world the attacker is death but these people will allways shock the world.. My mind goes out to the family of the deaths and to the crowd who saw this happen..


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