I’m an avowed republican in Australia. Nothing personal, your majesty Queen Liz, though you and your family don’t interest me all that much. I just think we should have an Australian as head of state and get rid of that anomalous Union Jack in the corner of our outmoded flag.

I have less problem with the Dutch having a royal family to reign over them. At least they’re Dutch and people rather like them. Okay, they may be one of the richest royal houses of Europe, but they’re not above going for rides on the bike, at least for photo ops. That prejudices them in my favour.

Well reigned, Queen Bea, and good luck and happy riding King Willem-Alexander.

And thanks, Mark Wagenbuur of Bicycle Dutch, for another post on your excellent blog.


It is a historic day in the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix announced she will abdicate in favour of her son after a 33 year reign. This is in line with Dutch tradition, the Netherlands does not have a tradition that the monarch rules until death. So on April 30th 2013, the Netherlands will have a new head of state: King Willem-Alexander.

It was also announced that Queen’s Day, so far celebrated on April 30th, the birthday of the mother of Queen Beatrix, will from 2014 on be celebrated on the new King’s actual birthday, April 27th, and from then on be called King’s day. This was very unexpected and that will take some getting used to! No more Queen’s Day Cycling!

But some things will not change! The members of the Dutch royal family have long been on bicycles and we can expect them to be cycling for a very…

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Filed under Cycling, Holland

7 responses to “A KINGDOM FOR A BICYCLE

  1. I think it is absolutely wonderful that the Dutch royal family goes out and about by bicycle; it makes them appear far more approachable, nice and sensible. Our South African rulers, parliamentarians and assorted political hangers-on in their blue-light howling-sirens weaponry-wielding convoys could learn something from such a down-to-earth, let’s keep things simple attitude!

    • At least it’s nice that they WANT to be seen as approachable, though naturally it’s a bit staged.

      A few years ago Queen Beatrix made an unannounced (except to a tv camera crew apparently) visit to Amsterdam’s Albert Cuyp market.

      Some small item took her fancy, but the aide who stepped forward to pay for it was told by the stallholder he didn’t take credit cards. Beatrix produced the cash from her purse.

  2. My husband and I are planning to move to the Netherlands from the USA in four years when he will retire. It’s hearing things like this that makes me happy in our choice of where we plan to live. Not only do I look forward to the ease and pleasure of bicycling everywhere, I like the idea of living in an egalitarian society.

  3. Len Dray

    Hello Richard.
    Thank you for the bike ride in Amsterdam in 2011. And I fully agree with your thoughts on an Australian Republic and flag. And to change the subject, are you familiar with the Gibb Challenge. A ride from Broome to Kununurra here in the Kimberley. A friend of mine is one of the organisers and I would recommend a look at the web site.

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