The royal family is coming to Maastricht on 27 April 2022. The programme has been released and we are happy to share some of the highlights. Scroll down for the complete programme. We can't wait!
The King’s Day celebrations will take off on a bridge: the Sint-Servaasbrug. It is the oldest bridge of the Netherlands, located near the place where the Romans laid the foundations for the city of Maastricht shortly after the beginning of our era: Trajectum ad Mosam, bridge over the Maas. It is a place of historical value, but above all a symbolic place – the bridge as a symbol of connection between the lives in the city.
The royal family will be welcomed on the bridge by the burgemeester (mayor) of Maastricht, Annemarie Penn-te Strake, and the gouverneur (king's commissioner) Emiel Roemer. The entrance is sure to be overwhelming, announcing that music will predominate during King's Day 2022. The programme is abundant in resounding names. It gives an impression of the musical life in our region and of the harmony among people and population groups.
After the programme on the bridge, the royal family will turn left towards Vissersmaas and will walk past the statue of the Mestrechter Geis, the spirit of Maastricht. The statue symbolises Maastricht’s local character: agile, flexible, sometimes elusive, but always optimistic. A brief show on the square will be in line with Maastricht's character: agile, flexible and elusive. Let yourself be surprised.
On the street that runs parallel to the Maasboulevard, the first substantive part of the programme will follow: Life in Maastricht. Het Bat and the Maasboulevard lead to the Graanmarkt. During King's Day, an enormous Gateway to Europe will be built there. After all, the Maastricht Treaty – marking the birth of the European Union and the euro – forever links Maastricht to Europe. Both the Union Treaty and the first euro will be featured on the route.
Maastricht's international student life will also present itself at the Graanmarkt. The string players of the Philharmonie Zuidnederland and the internationally renowned Maastricht DJ duo Lucas & Steve will perform a musical spectacle. The students of Maastricht University, the most Europe-oriented university in the Netherlands, will complete the show.
From the Graanmarkt, the royal family will walk towards Onze Lieve Vrouweplein. However, access to the Old Town requires a certain level of knowledge of the specific local customs and especially of the unique local language, Mestreechs. Under the leadership of the well-known Maastricht actor Jon van Eerd and with the help of Veldeke Kring, the Mestreechs Volkstheater and Room Escape, an aptitude test in Mestreechs must be taken.
An experience full of scents and flavours will await the royal family on the square of the Onze Lieve Vrouwe 'Star of the Sea' Basilica. The term 'open kitchen' will take on a whole new meaning, with an open invitation to participate, cook and taste. The royal family will be making zoervleis (a Limburg regional meat stew) together with the people of Café Sjiek, baking vlaaien (typical Limburg pies) with the 2 bakers from Hermans bakery and making organic wine with Stan Beurskens from Vijlen.
It is time for our rich cultural life. Associations, amateur arts and professional arts are more intricately linked in Limburg than anywhere else. They fuel and stimulate each other and form a connection that we will visualise and make tangible during King's Day. We will do so in an interactive way. A tour through the Fifth Season will begin in the Bredestraat. After all, Limburg knows another season in addition to summer, autumn, spring and winter, which is the season of vastelaovend (our own, unique version of carnival, from January 1 to Ash Wednesday).
In the second and last part of the Bredestraat, Maastricht will show how rich its association life is. the royal family will walk along an "association life gallery" over a length of 50 metres. A selection of members of dozens of diverse associations will wave to them. From football association to scouting group, from shooting club to brass band, from gymnastics team to theatre company. All association members will be wearing their recognisable uniform.
The royal family will reach Vrijthof square (called de Vriethof in Maastricht dialect). According to many, Vrijthof is the most beautiful square in the Netherlands. Thousands will have gathered in front of the big stage, with the monumental churches Sint Jan and Sint Servatius as the backdrop. On stage Rowwen Hèze will perform a song composed especially for the occasion. We will then sing Het Wilhelmus together – the national anthem of the Netherlands – backed by the men of Koninklijke Mastreechter Staar.
After the closing words and words of thanks, we will wave goodbye to the royal family with that one song that echoes the idiosyncrasy of Limburg with a sympathetic twist. “Het is een kwestie van geduld, even wachten tot de dag, dat heel Holland Limburgs …" (Rowwen Hèze - Kwestie van geduld).