The Queen's official birthday (Koninginnedag)
Queen Beatrix and other members of the Royal House visit festivities in one or two places each year. The royal visits are always broadcast live on television.
Koninginnedag is celebrated on 30 April (or if that date falls on a Sunday, 29 April). Queen Beatrix's birthday is not on that date, but on 31 January. 30 April was the birthday of her mother, Queen Juliana. Queen Beatrix wanted to continue celebrating Koninginnedag on that date as a mark of respect to her mother.
Koninginnedag past and present
The forerunner of today's public holiday was celebrated for the first time on 31 August 1885, Princess Wilhelmina's birthday. It was an initiative of the Liberal Party, which wanted to emphasise national unity.
The first real Koninginnedag was held on 31 August 1891, after the death of King Willem III. Since Koninginnedag was also the last day of the school summer holidays, it soon became a popular day of celebration for children.
On 31 August 1902, Koninginnedag turned into a full-scale popular celebration of Queen Wilhelmina's recovery from a serious illness. At the time, it was not customary for the Queen or her family to visit festivities on Koninginnedag.
During Queen Juliana's reign, the Dutch people presented her with a floral tribute at Soestdijk Palace. The flower parade was shown on television from the 1950s on.
It gradually became the custom for everyone to have a day off on 30 April, which ultimately became an official public holiday that stands for national unity. Every year, Queen Beatrix and members of her family visit one or two places, where they join in the Queen's Day celebrations. This Queen Beatrix's birthday is on 31 January, but out of respect for her mother, she celebrates it officially on 30 April, which was her mother's birthday.