27 April is a very special day in The Dutch calendar. It was on this day in 1967, that King Willem-Alexander, the King of the Netherlands, who ascended to the throne following his mother’s abdication in 2013, was born. This day brings the nation together to celebrate their monarch. It is also the biggest festival of the year. They say no other Dutch public holiday is embraced with such enthusiasm and energy as Koningsdag. Everything possible is covered in orange, from flags, wigs and clothing to revelers’ faces who wear it with pride: this color honors the royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau.
In Kenya, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Frans Makken hosted the celebrations on the eve of King’s Day at his official residence in Muthaiga, Nairobi, on Friday afternoon. The reception began with the official anthems of both countries followed by speeches by the host (The Ambassador) and the guest of honor, Political and Diplomatic Secretary, Amb Tom Amolo, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya.
This year marks the 55th anniversary of bilateral relations between Kenya and the Netherlands. In his speech, H.E. The ambassador noted that the Netherlands remains one of Kenya’s most important trade partners, having been consistently among the top 5 exporting destinations globally and the first in Europe for the last 5 years. He paid tribute to the innovations industry, singling out M-Tiba: a mobile phone technology platform used to pay for health services with the involvement of Dutch-supported organizations such as CarePay and PharmAccess.
The celebration was full of various Dutch Delicacies and drinks, which were laid out as the invited guests mingled and nibbled all afternoon.
King’s Day was previously celebrated as ‘Queen’s Day’, in honor of the successive female monarchs since the national holiday began in the late 1880s. However, 2014 was the first year to celebrate the famous national holiday as ‘King’s Day’, following the coronation of Willem-Alexander in 2013, the first Dutch king in 123 years.
Happy Birthday His Majesty King Willem-Alexander.