Beatrix opened up during the handover of the throne. Her face appeared to be far livelier than before. Willem-Alexander had not only become more dignified in his ermine cloak, but from this moment on his face represented the entire nation. He was ready for it, and Máxima was a magnificent Evita of the polders. The people played their role with gusto, as if instructed by someone: ‘You’re the crowd.’
But how would he feel about being reduced to the people, with an inflatable orange crown on his head? Yet it was clear from Willem-Alexander’s speech that he realised that without the people there is no king.
That afternoon I took a good look at the people in the centre of my home town, Arnhem. It made me want to shout: ‘Majesty, look at your subjects!’