Queen’s Day is celebrated in the Netherlands every April 30. On September 6, 1948, Juliana, daughter of Princess Wilhelmina, ascended to the throne. In the following year, the Queen’s Day celebrations were moved to April 30, her birthday. The holiday continued to be celebrated on this date even after her daughter, Beatrix, became the new monarch on April 30, 1980. Although her birthday is on January 31, she retained the holiday date in honor of her mother. Therefore, Queen’s Day was not only the former Queen’s birthday but also the anniversary of her coronation. Though the day is not a public holiday in the Netherlands, some schools and businesses do shut down.
History of Queen's Day
Queen’s Day, known as ‘Koninginnedag,’ is celebrated with great fervor in Amsterdam through a night and day carnival-like event at the end of April. The celebrations are so grand that it looks like the whole city is one giant party. Shops, individuals, and tourists join in the festivities.
It’s a great tourist event too! Queen’s Day attracts about 700,000 visitors each year. This is great for business and radiates an upbeat atmosphere. Despite overcrowding, everyone is normally relaxed and joyful on this special day. Queen’s Day has been celebrated across the country for over 50 years. However, the celebrations in Amsterdam are the grandest and most joyful.
At the end of January 2013, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the longest-reigning Dutch monarch, announced she would abdicate after a successful 33-year reign. She was succeeded by her oldest son, Willem-Alexander, who became the King of the Netherlands. The last Queen’s Day took place on April 30, 2013, and the first King’s Day was observed on April 26, 2014. Today, along with Queen’s Day, the Netherlands also celebrates King’s Day on April 26. During these national holidays, people make a special effort to wear orange clothing or face paint. Accessories that combine the orange color with some symbols of the royal family are exceedingly popular too.
Queen's Day timeline
The monarchy is founded after the French are driven out of the country.
The Dutch independent monarchy begins.
Queen Juliana passes away on March 20 after serving as monarch for 33 years.
Willem-Alexander becomes king.
Queen's Day FAQs
What countries celebrate the Queen’s birthday?
In the Netherlands, Queen’s Day is a national holiday commemorating Queen Beatrix’s investiture in 1980 and was celebrated on 30th April, the former Queen Juliana’s birthday.
How is Koningsdag celebrated?
King’s Day is when the Dutch celebrate the birth of their king, King Willem-Alexander, on April 27. The holiday includes a national flea market and grand events, including concerts.
When was the last Queen’s Day in the Netherlands?
The last Queen’s Day occurred in 2013. From 2014 onward, the nation has celebrated King’s Day every April 27.
Queen's Day Activities
Wear something orange
Celebrate Queen’s Day by wearing an orange outfit. You can even go a step further and dye your hair orange! If orange isn’t a color you like very much, stick to a small orange accessory, like a scarf or tie.
The traditional drink of Queen’s Day is ‘oranjebitter.’ Celebrate the day by making yourself this drink with bitter orange peels soaked in strong alcohol, such as gin.
Eat orange-flavored food
Orange-flavored foods are a big hit on Queen’s Day. Have your fill of orange-flavored foods — lozenges, cakes, biscuits, and more!
5 Facts About The Netherlands That You Didn’t Know
Dutch men are the tallest worldwide
Their average height is six feet.
It’s the world’s biggest flower exporter
The Netherlands makes up over 40% of flower exports.
Bridges are the pride of Amsterdam
The city has more than 1,200 bridges.
The first country to legalize same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2001.
The Dutch love licorice
The Dutch consume about 70 million pounds of it each year.
Why We Love Queen's Day
It’s a big party
Almost everyone in the Netherlands celebrates Queen’s Day. Because it’s marked by grand festivities in Amsterdam, Queen’s Day feels like a big party everyone is invited to.
It’s a public holiday
Queen’s Day is also a public holiday in the Netherlands. While not all schools or businesses close for the day, people are in jovial moods and ready to live it up.
It celebrates the beloved monarchs
Queen’s Day is also a celebration of the beloved Dutch monarchs. This is the day for the public to honor the royal family and their many contributions to the country.
Queen's Day dates