Mr Fred de Graaf to play key role in the organisation of the inauguration of the new Dutch King, Willem-Alexander on 30th April 2013
Fred de Graaf, President of the Senate, and former mayor of Apeldoorn will lead the inauguration of the new to be King, Prince Willem-Alexander, after the announcement of the abdication of his mother, Queen Beatrix, yesterday.
The crown will formally be handed from Beatrix to her son on what will be the last 30th of April “Queens Day”. Willem-Alexander will be sworn in at an inauguration ceremony (rather than a Coronation) in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, in a secular rather than religious ceremony, at which members of both the first and second chambers will be present.
Speaking on BNR’s Humburto Tam, (Business News Radio) this morning, Mr de Graaf explained that the initial plans for the ceremony had already been initiated as part of a continuous preparation for an event such as this, and the Prince Willem and his Argentinian wife, Princess Maxima would also have an influence on content of the proceedings, however the inauguration would follow the traditional form as set down in the constitution.
Fred de Graaf’s links with Apeldoorn and the royal family were highlighted after the attack of a madman on Queens Day in Apeldoorn in 2009, in which innocent bystanders were killed. The royal family was unharmed, however as Apeldoorn’s Mayor, Mr de Graaf was responsible for dealing with the awful situation at the time. He had been sitting on the bus with the Queen when it happened.
Fred de Graaf and Wittenborg
In September 2010, Mr de Graaf formally opened WUAS's new campus in Apeldoorn, and on his retirement as Mayor, when he became President of the first chamber (the Dutch Senate), Fred de Graaf was presented with an honorary “lectorship” (similar to a guest professorship), by WUAS directors Peter Birdsall and Maggie Feng. Recently, Mr de Graaf spoke at WUAS’s recent 25th jubilee gala, and he is planning to give his first guest lecture at Wittenborg in the spring.