NewsEuropeA royal draw: 9,000 candidates want to have lunch with William of Orange on the 10th anniversary of his enthronement

A royal draw: 9,000 candidates want to have lunch with William of Orange on the 10th anniversary of his enthronement

King William of Orange celebrates a decade on the throne on April 30, and wants to celebrate it with his compatriots on the eve of his 56th birthday, on the 27th of the same month. On that day, he will invite a hundred Dutch people to lunch at the Huis ten Bosch palace, the official residence of the royal family, in The Hague, and preparations are already underway. To sit at the table with the sovereign and his wife, the queen consort Maxima, any citizen has been able to nominate a person who stands out for his social commitment. It was not possible to propose to family or friends, and a list of 600 shortlisted will enter a hype similar to a lottery, in a contest that will be held before a notary. The final selection of diners will come from there, and the initiative has been well received: there are 9,000 candidates.

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The deadline for submitting applications expired this Monday and the sovereign wants to surround himself with anonymous people who have dedicated themselves to others and are appreciated by their environment. People “capable of calming down, solving daily problems, helping others, setting an example, inspiring or uniting”, it is stated in the official statement released by the palace. The monarch himself launched the call 10 days ago through a video posted on YouTube. Filmed in a relaxed tone, it shows Guillermo answering a call to help with a prescription. “I? You are safe. Okay, ”he says, and leaves his office on his way to the stove. As he prepares a stuffed avocado with two cooks, he hears the voice on off of the monarch explaining that, on his anniversary, he wishes to thank “the people who deserve a 10 for their dedication to others.” Later, the fountain with the avocado is shown in the palace room where the tables will be arranged, with one of them decorated so that the viewer can get an idea of ​​what the appointment will be like.

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It is not the first time that William of Orange has wanted to surround himself with ordinary citizens at an official event. In 2017, when the sovereign turned 50, he invited 150 Dutch people to a dinner at the royal palace. He did it, likewise, through a lottery, but in this case the requirement to be able to appear and be one of the candidates to dine with the king and his family was to release a decade or five years up to half a century; that is, turning 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 or 50 years old. The call had much more prestige than the current one, since 11,500 people signed up, although it is true that there the candidates signed up directly to the list, they did not nominate a third party.

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King William of Orange and Queen Maxima toast at a dinner for 150 Dutch people on the monarch’s 50th birthday on April 28, 2017 at the royal palace in Amsterdam.Patrick van Katwijk (Getty Images)

Guillermo and Maxima de Orange have just returned with their eldest daughter, Princess Amalia, 19, from an official visit to the Dutch territories in the Caribbean. The tour has served to introduce the young heiress to her overseas compatriots, and has been marked by two issues: colonial memory and the Dutch slave-owning past, and Amalia’s change of scenery for two weeks. The heiress lives surrounded by strong security measures due to alleged threats from organized crime, the so-called Mocro Mafia, which operates especially in Antwerp, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, which have forced her to abandon her student life in the capital and leave the apartment that he shared with his classmates to return to the palace and have to continue his university studies from home.


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