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