King’s Day

While last Thursday the 25th was a day of remembrance for the corps in Australia and New Zealand, yesterday was a memorable day in the Netherlands. On the 30th of April Dutch inhabitants celebrate Queen’s Day, in Dutch known as ‘Koninginnedag’. Yet this year the day was even more memorable, because the Queen her son Willem-Alexander was sworn in as king. Queen Beatrix announced her intention to stand down already back in January, saying that her son was ready to reign and yesterday that day had come. Since one of my housemates in Melbourne is also Dutch, we followed his inauguration on Dutch television from a laptop. It is such a strange but also exciting thing to be able to follow this memorable event in Dutch history on the other side of the world.

Queen Beatrix was visibly touched as she introduced her son as a new king. When the Queen formally relinquished the throne, a ceremony took place in the Royal Palace. International royals and high-ranking dignitaries were also present, even the UK’s Prince Charles, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain and Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik and his wife. After the Queen had signed the official statement that transferred the monarchy to her son, huge cheers erupted in Dam Square. When I would be back home, I would probably be standing among one of the 250,000 people on the square. The day ended with celebrations. 200 boats took part in the royal flotilla, many decorated in orange, the nation’s colour. Besides, there were loads of music performances and even a high-bar display by a male gymnast and a ballet duet. National celebrations are such a great part of a culture and it made me miss back home a bit.

Yet there is no reason for complaining; still enjoying life in Melbourne every day. Last week my friend Floortje and her boyfriend visited me. It was the perfect time to come to Melbourne, bright and sunny. Together we visited the Eureka Sky Scratcher, the highest viewing point in Melbourne from where we had a great look upon the city. We also went to Brunswick, a suburb of Melbourne, 6km north of the Central Business District and explored some new bars, restaurants and vintage shops. Since this neighbourhood is so interesting I will probably devote my next blog to it. While typing this, I realize it is already a week ago since they arrived in Melbourne. Incredibly how time flies. Now time has come to work on assignments and essays. Sadly being on exchange is not all about roses…

About J

Hi! My name is J and I from the Netherlands. I am in Melbourne for the first semester in 2013 as part of the Border Crossings Porgram. At home I am studying Language-and Cultural Studies, but here I will enroll in courses as 'Development, Globalisation and Culture', 'International Relations, States and Security' and 'Professional Internship'. Can't wait to experience the life of an Australian student here!
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