Let's go back in time to learn about the history of King's Day. It was first celebrated as Princess Day, then as Queen's Day, and has been known as King's Day for the past few years.
King's Day first started as Princess Day in 1885. On 31 august 1885, Princess Day was celebrated for the first time in honour of Princess Wilhelmina's fifth birthday. This celebration, the predecessor to Queen's Day, was introduced by the liberals as a way to inspire a sense of national unity. In 1891, Queen's Day was celebrated for the first time, when Queen Emma passed down the throne to her daughter Wilhelmina. In those days, Queen's Day was celebrated on the last day of the school holidays, which added to the festive nature of the event. In 1902, the event grew into the national celebration we all know and love today. The name was changed to King's Day in 2014, in honour of King Willem-Alexander's birthday.
Since 2014, King's Day has been held each year on 27 April – a day when the entire country comes together to celebrate the king's birthday and to express their national solidarity. On this day, the whole country turns orange! If 27 April falls on a Sunday, King's Day is celebrated the day before. This year, King's Day falls on a Wednesday.
As per tradition, the royal family visits a municipality that plays a pivotal role in its region. This city pulls out all the stops to create a fun, musical extravaganza together with the royal family. Surrounding towns and villages are encouraged to showcase their traditions, customs, and defining characteristics by organizing parades, walking tours, and musical performances, and by offering an inside look at their associations and organizations. Along the route, the public can catch a glimpse of the royal family. Each year, the royal visit is broadcast live by Dutch broadcaster NOS.