All about cycling in the Netherlands

A kingdom for a bicycle

It is a historic day in the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix announced she will abdicate in favour of her son after a 33 year reign. This is in line with Dutch tradition, the Netherlands does not have a tradition that the monarch rules until death. So on April 30th 2013, the Netherlands will have a new head of state: King Willem-Alexander.

Queen Beatrix

Queen Beatrix on a bicycle

It was also announced that Queen’s Day, so far celebrated on April 30th, the birthday of the mother of Queen Beatrix, will from 2014 on be celebrated on the new King’s actual birthday, April 27th, and from then on be called King’s day. This was very unexpected and that will take some getting used to! No more Queen’s Day Cycling!

Dutch Royal Family 2012

The Dutch Royal Family in 2012. Prince, to be King Willem-Alexander, Princess, to be Queen Máxima and their three daughters, Amalia, Alexia and Ariane.

But some things will not change! The members of the Dutch royal family have long been on bicycles and we can expect them to be cycling for a very long time to come. Because the Netherlands is a kingdom for a bicycle!

Dutch Royal Family 1970s

The Dutch Royal Family 1980s

Dutch royal family 1940s

Dutch Royal Family 1950s

Dutch Royal Family 1930s

Dutch Royal Family 1930s

Queen Wilhelmina

Queen Wilhelmina reigned from 1898-1948.

Queen Juliana

Queen Juliana reigned from 1948-1980.

Statue Queen Beatrix

Statue of Queen Beatrix on a bicycle, who’s reign will be from 1980-2013.


Willem-Alexander on a bicycle. His reign will start on 30th April 2013.

Princesses on bicycles

The cycling future of the Dutch royals seems secure: the young princesses on their bicycles.

30 comments on “A kingdom for a bicycle

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  6. Looking forward to see likewise pictures of Belgian royals. As far as I know they’re real petrol heads…

  7. Vedomyr Aremikh
    8 February 2013
  8. David Pearce
    31 January 2013

    Isn’t that great. What a lovely tradition, biking monarchs, biking subjects. One little correction to be made: last photo, of Crown Prince shown biking on April 30, year________?, but not yet 2013.

    • bicycledutch
      31 January 2013

      The date 30 April 2013 is the date the reign of Willem-Alexander will start.

      • David Pearce
        31 January 2013

        I see. Ok. It’s still a little confusing to me, but it matters little. What matters is BICYCLE, and you, the Dutch, do BICYCLE great!

      • bicycledutch
        31 January 2013

        I changed the caption. Has to be clear to everybody! 🙂

  9. Herbert Tiemens
    30 January 2013

    A historic day indeed. Every year the Royal family visits on Queen’s Day 2 towns or cities in the Netherlands, to keep in touch with the people. In 1999 the family went by train to Houten and Utrecht. Of course the family had to ride a bike in Houten, but for safety reasons (?) this was restricted for men only.
    But hey, this is the Netherlands:

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  11. worldyouthadventures
    29 January 2013

    Reblogged this on World Youth Adventures blog and commented:
    No wonder cycling is so popular in the Netherlands – a Queen’s cycle day!? Great little post and worth a look just for the pictures!

  12. nuernberg2rad
    29 January 2013

    Yes, but is it “Koningdag” or “Koningsdag”? Now it is a “s”-Problem

    • Smallpotato
      29 January 2013

      Koningsdag, natuurlijk! Het was toch ook niet ‘Koningindag’?

      • Frits B
        30 January 2013

        It’s not a matter of plural vs singular. Koningsdag is etymologically short for des Konings dag, day of the king. Koningin never had a separate genitive so the -ne- only serves to facilitate the transition between two consonants. Also compare ‘s-Hertogenbosch = the Duke’s woods, or ‘s-Gravenhage = the domain of the Count of Holland. Hertogen and Graven are both old genitives.

  13. lagatta à montréal
    29 January 2013

    Not last ever, if we look at his children – all girls. Unless the Dutch abolish the monarchy, and there don’t seem to be many calls for that now. Indeed Koningsdag doesn’t have the same ring to it. Richard, I’m a republican too (in Québec, and I defnitely don’t mean a Republican in the US sense!) but the relevant question here is for your country to eliminate the compulsory helmet laws that discourage utilitarian, slow cycling, and instead build some decent infrastructure to ensure cyclists’ safety.

  14. Marius David
    29 January 2013

    Reblogged this on Marius Cruceru and commented:
    Regina Olandei se dă jos de pe tron, dar nu se dă jos de pe bicicletă.

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  16. nuernberg2rad
    29 January 2013

    Reblogged this on nürnberg2rad und kommentierte:
    fietsen voor de monarchie!

  17. Richard Tulloch
    29 January 2013

    Reblogged this on Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD and commented:
    I’m an avowed republican in Australia. Nothing personal, your majesty Queen Liz, though you and your family don’t interest me all that much. I just think we should have an Australian as head of state and get rid of that anomalous Union Jack in the corner of our outmoded flag.

    I have less problem with the Dutch having a royal family to reign over them. At least they’re Dutch and people rather like them. Okay, they may be one of the richest royal houses of Europe, but they’re not above going for rides on the bike, at least for photo ops. That prejudices them in my favour.

    Well reigned, Queen Bea, and good luck and happy riding King Willem-Alexander.

    • Andrew Petcher
      29 January 2013

      I think Australia should just take a vote and clear the air on the issue of the Head of State!

  18. Fabulous photos, especially Queen Wilhemina. I cannot imagine the Windsor family on bikes.

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  20. Richard Tulloch
    28 January 2013

    I heard it first from you Mark. Looking forward to the last ever koninginnedag on April 30.

    • BicycleDutch
      28 January 2013

      Yeah… Koningsdag…. phew… No, Koninginnedag sounds so much better! 🙂

      • Frits B
        29 January 2013

        But it does solve the problem of the “tussen-n” 🙂

    • somedude
      30 January 2013

      The Crown Prince only has daughters so in about thirty to forty years there will be a Queen’s day again.

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This entry was posted on 28 January 2013 by in Original posts and tagged , .


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