King Willem-Alexander dutch

King Willem-Alexander says he hears citizens' frustration — they made sure of it on Prinsjesdag
King Willem-Alexander was greeted with cheers but also loud booing as he gave his annual Prinsjesdag (Prince's Day) speech to parliament. In it, the sovereign outlines the government's plans for the coming legislative period on the third Tuesday of September.

The speech was delivered at the Royal Theater in The Hague this year, rather than the traditional Knights Hall, which is currently being restored.

In his speech, the king acknowledged growing discontent among the country's citizens, especially when it comes to politics.

Referring to recent public opinion polls, he said: "It is worrying that people in a mature democracy like ours are losing faith in the power of government and management to resolve issues. We live in a time of contradictions and uncertainty. People's uncertainty about tomorrow and the more distant future is growing."

Netherlands protesters

As in other Western democracies, some in the Netherlands are convinced their politicians are 'traitors'
In a speech largely written by the ruling government, the king said: "The Cabinet realizes that the Dutch are critical about the functioning of the political and administrative system. At the same time a large majority is still satisfied with the functioning of democracy."

Comment: Note that Putin got an 80% approval rating from his people; now that's a large majority.

Willem-Alexander touched on anger over energy prices, lack of affordable housing and the government's climate plans.

"One direct result of the war and international sanctions against Russia is that gas, electricity and food have become much more expensive. That's why the Cabinet decided on an unprecedented, substantial package of more than €18 billion euros ($18 billion) especially for low and middle income [families]. But even then," he continued, "not all price increases can be fully offset for everybody."

Comment: Who's paying for this? Because it's not coming out of the king's pocket.

Crown Princess Amalia

Crown Princess Amalia, who is now 18, attended the Prinsjesdag speech for the first time
Rare public jeering of Dutch royals

The event also marked a return to public festivities along the route between the royal palace and the Royal Theater after the interruption of COVID-19 restrictions.

As the king traveled by antique coach with his wife Maxima and their 18-year-old daughter, Crown Princess Amalia, who attended the event for the first time, they were greeted by cheering fans, many sporting the traditional orange of the family.

Yet malcontents along the route also jeered the family, holding national flags upside down in protest, much as they have in protest to the leadership of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Comment: 'Malcontents' - these people, as the king himself acknowledged, are extremely worried for their livelihoods, their future, and the future of their children; something that the royals couldn't begin to understand; not yet, anyway.

Farmers have been furious, for instance, about new nitrogen emissions rules they say will put them out of business.

Comment: They will put them out of business. That's the point.

The royal family stepped out onto the balcony of the royal Noordeinde Palace after their return from the Royal Theater, yet here, too, the booing was impossible to ignore.

Tuesday's events were an important step for Crown Princess Amalia, who has begun participating in official events now that she is of adult age. Although she has just started her university studies, for instance, she is scheduled to visit the Netherlands' Caribbean territories with her parents next spring.

Willem-Alexander assumed the throne in 2013, when his mother Beatrix abdicated after 33 years as queen.
dutch royal family

There were cheers from adoring fans but also lots of very loud boos from malcontents