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World The Dutch king and queen cut their Greece vacation short after facing backlash for traveling amid a partial lockdown

23:17  18 october  2020
23:17  18 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Princess Maxima of the Netherlands are posing for a picture: King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima (pictured on September 15, 2020) faced backlash for traveling to Greece while their home country is in partial lockdown. Patrick van Katwijk/BSR Agency/WireImage; Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images © Patrick van Katwijk/BSR Agency/WireImage; Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima (pictured on September 15, 2020) faced backlash for traveling to Greece while their home country is in partial lockdown. Patrick van Katwijk/BSR Agency/WireImage; Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • The Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima returned home Saturday after cutting short a vacation in Greece.
  • "We see the reactions by people to reports in the media," the Dutch king and queen said in a statement on Friday from the Royal House of the Netherlands after the trip sparked widespread backlash.
  • The Dutch government imposed a partial lockdown on Wednesday that closed bars and restaurants and discourages unnecessary travel.
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte wrote that he "made the wrong assessment" about letting the royal couple travel, according to the BBC.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Dutch king and queen returned home early from a trip after being seemingly travel-shamed for their planned vacation to Greece.

Dutch king expresses regret at Greek family vacation

  Dutch king expresses regret at Greek family vacation THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch king issued a video message Wednesday saying he had “regret in the heart” and he shouldn't have flown to Greece for a family vacation last week, a trip that was quickly broken off amid public uproar back home where people are being urged to stay home as much as possible to battle the coronavirus. “It hurts to have betrayed your faith in us," a somber King Willem-Alexander said in the video, which shows him sitting next to his wife, Queen Maxima, at their palace in a forest in The Hague. It is highly unusual for a Dutch monarch to issue such a contrite message to the nation.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima returned to the Netherlands on Saturday after spending one day in southern Greece, where the king has a private villa, Reuters reported.

The Dutch royal couple left for their trip amid an uptick of positive COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands, which prompted the government to impose a partial lockdown last week that closed bars and restaurants for at least four weeks, according to the Associated Press.

While traveling to Greece from the Netherlands is permitted, the Dutch government discourages unnecessary travel as part of the new partial lockdown rules, according to the BBC.

Not long into their vacation, the royal couple was apparently made aware of public backlash about their travels that became prevalent in Dutch media, based on a statement they made on Friday.

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"We see the reactions by people to reports in the media," the Dutch royal couple said in a statement published Friday by the Royal House of the Netherlands. "We wish to leave no doubt that it's necessary to follow the guidelines in order to get the COVID-19 virus under control. The discussion over our vacation is not contributing to that."

Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands wearing sunglasses and a hat: King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands visiting a sailing school in Smallingerland, Netherlands, on September 17, 2020. Patrick van Katwijk/WireImage © Patrick van Katwijk/WireImage King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands visiting a sailing school in Smallingerland, Netherlands, on September 17, 2020. Patrick van Katwijk/WireImage

In response to the backlash targeted at the royal couple, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte wrote a letter to the parliament saying that he was aware of the king and queen's plans to travel, but that he "made the wrong assessment" about allowing them to go through with the trip.

Rutte wrote that he "realized too late" that the royal couple's holiday "could no longer be reconciled with the increasing infections and the stricter measures."

Queen Máxima + King Willem-Alexander: After their vacation break, their daughters stayed in Greece

 Queen Máxima + King Willem-Alexander: After their vacation break, their daughters stayed in Greece After a lot of criticism, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima canceled their vacation in Greece again. Now the people are upset again: As it turned out, their daughters Amalia and Alexia remained in Greece. © Dana Press Princess Alexia, Queen Máxima, King Willem-Alexander and Princess Amalia It was a short trip for King Willem-Alexander , 53, Queen Máxima , 49, and her daughters Amalia, 16, Alexia, 15 and Ariane, 13.

"This should have prompted me to reconsider the intended holiday. I bear full ministerial responsibility," Rutte said in a letter obtained by the BBC.

In the Netherlands, the seven-day rolling average of daily new COVID-19 cases has more than doubled over the past two weeks, according to the Associated Press.

On October 6, the country hit a record number of new daily cases, reporting 9,155 positive cases that day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Since Saturday, the country has reported 8,149 new cases.

Representatives for the Royal House of the Netherlands did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Insider

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