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Dutch to crown new king with massive party

Published on Jan 30, 2013 6:13 AM
A picture taken on January 29, 2013 in the Hague shows the residence of Queen Beatrix Huis ten Bosch at dawn, the day after the Dutch Queen announced her abdication in favour of her son Crown Prince Willem Alexander after 33 years in power. -- PHOTO: AFP

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Famed worldwide for their merrymaking abilities, the Dutch on Tuesday set to preparing an "unforgettable" party for the coronation of their new king Willem Alexander on April 30.

Amsterdam hotels have already been booked up less than 24 hours after Queen Beatrix announced she would abdicate, and city hall has been overwhelmed by offers of partymaking help.

The coronation is to be held on the traditional national holiday of Queen's Day, during which public drunkenness is tolerated, and the Dutch dress up in the royal colour orange.

Nationwide, streets and canals throng with sometimes unruly crowds dressed in garish orange scarves, shirts, wigs, even clogs. Some people fall in the canals, but the good natured event in the well-organised country rarely sees serious accidents or fights.

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