Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima (R) and their daughters pose as they celebrate Kings Day in The Hague on April 27, 2020.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima (R) and their daughters pose as they celebrate Kings Day in The Hague on April 27, 2020.
PIC: AFP

The Dutch national birthday party for their king is a muted affair, dubbed King's Day at Home because of coronavirus restrictions.

King Willem-Alexander was celebrating his 53rd birthday Monday with his family at their palace in a forest on the edge of The Hague after a mass celebration in the southern city of Maastricht was canceled due to the coronavirus.

In a nationally televised speech to the nation, he paid tribute to health care workers and others battling the virus and hoped for better times ahead.

Flanked by his wife Maxima and their three daughters, Willem-Alexander said the annual holiday would be unique, "especially unique because I hope it will be absolutely the last King's Day at Home in history." King's Day is usually a nationwide celebration involving street parties and children selling secondhand toys in makeshift garage sales known as "free markets" throughout the country.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, events and public celebrations were cancelled this year, leaving the Dutch to celebrate from home, including the monarch and his family.

Early Monday, streets were still largely deserted apart from queues of shoppers, observing social distancing guidelines, outside bakeries selling traditional King's Day pastries decorated with orange frosting.

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