Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Orangefest for Netherland’s new ‘King Billy’... and an invite to celebrate Twelfth

Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands sits alongside his mother Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands during her abdication ceremony in the Moseszaal at the Royal Palace on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam
Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands sits alongside his mother Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands during her abdication ceremony in the Moseszaal at the Royal Palace on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands signs the Act of Abdication as his wife Princess Maxima of the Netherlands (R) looks on during the abdication ceremony of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in the Moseszaal at the Royal Palace on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is abdicating the throne after a 33 year reign and hands the throne to her son Prince Willem-Alexander who will be sworn in later at the Nieuwe Kerk ahead of a joint session of parliament. (Photo by Bart Maat - Pool/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (L) his mother Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (C) greet people during her abdication ceremony in the Moseszaal at the Royal Palace on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is abdicating the throne after a 33 year reign and hands the throne to her son Prince Willem-Alexander who will be sworn in later at the Nieuwe Kerk ahead of a joint session of parliament. (Photo by Jerry Lampen - Pool/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: The Director of the Queen's Office, Chris Breedveld, reads out the declaration of Abdication attended by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her son Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and dignitaries in the Moseszaal at the Royal Palace on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is abdicating the throne after a 33 year reign and hands the throne to her son Prince Willem-Alexander who will be sworn in later at the Nieuwe Kerk ahead of a joint session of parliament. (Photo by Bart Maat - Pool/Getty Images)
NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: (NO ARCHIVE, NO SALE, EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this handout image provided by RVD, HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands kisses her son HM King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands as Queen Maxima of the Netherlands looks on during a short address on the balcony of the Royal Palace to greet the public after the abdication of Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands and ahead of the Inauguration of King Willem Alexander of The Netherlands on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by RVD/Jeroen Van Der Meyde/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: The Director of the Queen's Office Chris Breedveld reads out the Act of Abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in the Moseszaal at the Royal Palace on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is abdicating the throne after a 33 year reign and hands the throne to her son Prince Willem-Alexander who will be sworn in later at the Nieuwe Kerk ahead of a joint session of parliament. (Photo by Michel Porro - Pool/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands (C) with King Willem Alexander (L) and Queen Maxima appear on the balcony of the Royal Palace to greet the public after her abdication and ahead of the Inauguration of King Willem Alexander of The Netherlands on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima and their daughters Princess Catharina Amalia, Princess Ariane and Princess Alexia of the Netherlands appear on the balcony of the Royal Palace to greet the public after the abdication of Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands and ahead of the Inauguration of King Willem Alexander of The Netherlands on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: A general view of celebrations for the inauguration of King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicates on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: A general view of celebrations for the inauguration of King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicates on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was created with a fish eye lens) A general view of celebrations for the inauguration of King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicates on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: Guests arrive to attend the inauguration of HM King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands at New Church on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Carl Court-Pool/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan and Crown Princess Masako of Japan attend the inauguration of HM King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands at New Church on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Peter Dejong-Pool/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrives to attend the inauguration of HM King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands at New Church on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Toussaint Kluiters-Pool/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Maria Sousa Uva (L) arrive to attend the inauguration of HM King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands at New Church on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Toussaint Kluiters-Pool/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 29: Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan and Princess Sarvath El Hassan of Jordan attends a dinner hosted by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands ahead of her abdication in favour of Crown Prince Willem Alexander at Rijksmuseum on April 29, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 29: Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah and Princess Sarah of Brunei attend a dinner hosted by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands ahead of her abdication in favour of Crown Prince Willem Alexander at Rijksmuseum on April 29, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 29: Prince Albert II of Monaco (L); Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg and Prince Guillaume (R) attend a dinner hosted by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands ahead of her abdication in favour of Crown Prince Willem Alexander at Rijksmuseum on April 29, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 29: Kofi Annan and his wife Maria Anna attends a dinner hosted by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands ahead of her abdication in favour of Crown Prince Willem Alexander at Rijksmuseum on April 29, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 29: Princess Letizia of Spain and Prince Felipe of Spain attend a dinner hosted by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands ahead of her abdication in favour of Crown Prince Willem Alexander at Rijksmuseum on April 29, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 29: Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein and Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein attend a dinner hosted by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands ahead of her abdication in favour of Crown Prince Willem Alexander at Rijksmuseum on April 29, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive to attend the inauguration of HM King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands at New Church on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Robin Utrecht-Pool/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: The daughters of Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and wife Princess Maxima of the Netherlands; Princess Ariane, Princess Catharina Amalia and Princess Alexia of the Netherlands, sit together during the abdication ceremony of their grandmother Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in the Moseszaal at the Royal Palace on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is abdicating the throne after a 33 year reign and hands the throne to her son Prince Willem-Alexander who will be sworn in later at the Nieuwe Kerk ahead of a joint session of parliament. (Photo by Jerry Lampen - Pool/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 30: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was created with a fish eye lens). A general view of celebrations for the inauguration of King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicates on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The new ‘King Billy’ may have only been on the Dutch throne for a day — but already he has been invited to attend the Twelfth celebrations in Northern Ireland.

The first Dutch king for 123 years, Willem-Alexander looked well-suited for a parade, donning a sash for his investiture and walking to church surrounded by pageantry.

Any Northern Irish tourists unaware of the historic event might have even been forgiven for thinking they had stumbled into Amsterdam’s version of an Eleventh Night celebration, as thousands of orange-clad revellers danced to booming beats and cheerily swigged beer.

And the Orange Order believes that the laid-back monarch might enjoy the annual Twelfth of July festivities that commemorate his famous namesake — Stadtholder Willem III of the Royal House of Orange-Nassau to the Dutch, or King Billy to his fans.

Orange Order director of services Dr David Hume said: “It is very fitting that King Willem has ascended the throne given the historical connections which exist between the Netherlands and the British Isles.

“It would therefore be very appropriate if on a future royal visit to the United Kingdom the new King Willem were able to visit Northern Ireland. The Dutch dignitary would also be most welcome to witness firsthand the spectacle of our annual Twelfth celebrations.”

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