• Valerie Nijssen

What I Did Today - Giving my drawing to King Willem Alexander - Kingsday 2019


Dear readers,


Some of you may remember the portrait I drew of King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima's three daughters. Since Kingsday was celebrated relatively near me it seemed to me like a nice idea to try and give it to them if I got the chance. It was at least worth the shot, and so we went off to Amersfoort for the celebrations. After a two and a half hour wait the royal family arrived. We struck it lucky as we were relatively close to the start of the route they were planned to go on and so we didn't have to wait too long before we were able to see them.


The Drawing in progress


Me, holding the framed finished result.

I was really curious to see how I would react if they were standing in front of me, fellow friends across the pond who have had similair experiences with British royals told me that nerves struck them. And I won't lie that as they came closer I was getting increasinly nervous. I was glad that in the end due to there being a fence that no one noticed that my legs were shaking. I think the nerves came more or less due to me giving the drawing and the built up to it and hoping that his majesty would actually like it.


Here is me actually giving my drawing

My nerves were completely unnessecary. King Willem Alexander was so lovely, completely down to earth and very nice. His reaction was more then what I could have hoped for. He immediately asked if I made it myself and when I said that I did he was genuinly impressed. And then the best compliment yet was that he actually said that he thought it was nearly as beautiful as his actual daughters were, jokingly adding that of course nothing could beat that. He was genuinly happy with the portrait and that was my aim. After all it was his birthday!

I love this screencap of the national tv where it looks like we are just joking around!

Now it is custom that when given presents that members of the royal family pass them on to their staff for save keeping so that they have their hands free for the other people waiting to greet them. So I didn't think it would be possible to show the portrait to Queen Maxima as well. Now this man comes into play. A staff member of the king he followed his majesty and genuinly looked impressed with the portrait when the king handed him my gift. Now he very sweetly kept standing there as Queen Maxima approaced which enabled me to also show it to her, the legend!


She was just as lovely as her husband and stood there for a second looking at it and then very warmly complimented me and thanked me for my gift. Which was super lovely! Now I did manage to film the reaction of King Willem Alexander (which I will pop down below) but only managed to film the last 4 seconds of my interaction with Queen Maxima since my iPhone didn't start filming sooner. But she was extremely sweet and it definitely a experience I will look back upon fondly.

Us shaking hands with Princess Alexia & Ariane

Many people were asking the princesses for selfies, so it kind of felt repetetive and to be honest I felt to shy to ask although they were all extremely nice. I did manage to work up the courage to ask prince Pieter Christiaan for a photo, and he kindly posed for a photo!

Literally the whole morning went by so quickly, we ended up waiting for a little more then two hours and they came by so incredibly fast, as you can see by the video below, the interaction with the king lasted for 15 seconds and felt when it happened like it was a lot longer. Given that they had so many people to greet in so little time I feel really happy with the overall experience.


The first video shows king Willem Alexander's reaction as I managed to film with my phone.


The second video shows the 4 seconds I managed to film of Queen Maxima's reaction.


The whole interraction was also shown on live tv, thanks to my mom for filming it <3



All in all it was a very surreal and cool experience, one I will look back on fondly. It kind of makes me toy with the idea of maybe going again next year and maybe give a drawing to Queen Maxima or Princess Amalia directly. What do you think? Should I make another drawing for next year? And if so for who?






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