The heir to the Dutch throne reportedly hosted a party on her family’s palace grounds, at a time when people are urged to receive no more than four people a day. The report sent the royals into damage control mode.
Dutch Princess Amalia has come under fire for inviting at least two dozen guests to her 18th birthday party, while the authorities have urged the public to follow strict Covid-19 protocols that include social distancing of at least 1.5 meters, and receiving no more than four visitors a day at home.
The birthday bash was reportedly organized “last-minute,” with the princess and her guests enjoying the festivities in the palace garden where two tents were set up. De Telegraaf reported, citing sources, that about 100 guests ended up coming to the party. The palace, however, told the Dutch government that only 21 invitations were sent out and that not everyone showed up.
Although the party apparently took place outside, the report has prompted accusations of double standards.
Defending the party, the palace insisted that all those present were vaccinated, had tested negative for Covid-19, and were supposed to maintain a prescribed physical distance during the event.
“The assumption was that they would keep an acceptable distance,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told lawmakers in a letter on Wednesday.
Rutte noted that Princess Amalia’s father, King Willem-Alexander, regretted the decision to host the party in the first place. The king reportedly told Rutte that “it was not such a good idea” to go ahead with a full-fledged celebration.
It’s not the first time the royal family has stirred controversy for contradicting the government’s coronavirus messaging. Last October, King Willem-Alexander was forced to apologize for “betraying people’s trust” after the royals went on a holiday in Greece, while citizens were urged to stay at home.
“Even though the trip was in line with the regulations, it was very unwise not to take into account the impact of the new restrictions on our society,” he said at the time.