Kenya: Dutch Embassy Hosts King’s Day Celebration in Nairobi

“A Birthday is a new beginning – a birthday is the first day of another lovely year, a year of new tomorrows that is shining, bright and clear, a year of possibilities as endless as the sky, and a chance to meet the challenges in everything you try.”

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya recently celebrated the Birthday of His Majesty King Willem Alexander at the Nairobi residence of the Ambassador H.E. Maarten Brouwer, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Kenya, Somalia and the Seychelles.

The celebration which was held on the 27th of April 2022, was attended by among others, government officials, businessmen, diplomats, academics, artists, journalists and civil society members and the Dutch community in Nairobi. The guest of honor, who represented the Kenyan Government was H.E. Ambassador Isaiya Kabira, Director-General of International Conferencing and Media at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The hosting of this day in the country continues to cement the continued linkage between Kenya and Netherlands that stemmed for decades.

King’s Day (Koningsdag) is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is the day when the Dutch celebrate the birthday of their king. King Willem Alexander was born on 27 April and so there are many parties, flea markets and, of course, the king himself visits one or several cities with his family in Netherlands.

Originally, Princess’ Day was celebrated in Holland on Wilhelmina’s birthday (31 August), when she was still a princess. The feast involved many children’s games and decorated streets. When Wilhelmina became the new queen after her father’s death, it was changed to Queen’s Day.

Juliana, the next queen and Wilhelmina’s daughter, celebrated Queen’s Day on 30 April with a parade on Soestdijk. Beatrix also celebrated Queen’s Day on 30 April (her own birthday is in January) but contrary to her mother, she took her entire family and travelled around the country to visit several municipalities. King Willem Alexander has followed in this tradition. He was born on 27 April and this became the official King’s Day in 2014.

In Netherlands, streets turn orange, nationwide, the national colour of the Dutch. The Dutch royal family bears the name: ‘House of Oranje’. This literally means the House of Orange. Hence, the colour orange became The Netherlands’ national colour.

This year’s King’s Day marking was well received as it had not been celebrated for two years consecutively due to the pandemic.

To mark this special day, the embassy of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya handed out orange boutonniere to each invited guest.

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