RADIANT BEATRIX ENJOYS FUN ANNIVERSARY

1 MAY 2006

There was an explosion of colour in the Netherlands as the royal family led the country's traditional Queen's Day festivities with a blend of pomp and fun. Key members of the clan including Princess Maxima and her husband Crown Prince Willem-Alexander joined the nation's much-loved monarch, Beatrix, to mark the 26th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

The popular sovereign, who gasped in delight when orange tickertape rained down from above, has clearly recovered her zest for life after some difficult years during which she suffered the loss of her parents and husband in quick succession.

The wave of affection that surrounded her during last year's silver jubilee celebrations helped, and the growing families of her children are also a source of pleasure to the royal grandmother.

Last June, Maxima presented the queen with her fifth grandchild, Alexia. Meanwhile, her second son Prince Johan Friso and his wife Mabel will welcome a sibling for their one-year-old daughter, Emma Luana, in June.

And the royal baby boom continues as Laurentien, the wife of Beatrix's youngest son Prince Constantijn, is also awaiting the birth of the couple's third child in the next six weeks.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Netherland's popular monarch was clearly overwhelmed by the turnout for the Queen's Day celebrationsPhoto: © AFPClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Dutch sovereign, who enjoys a 92 percent approval rating among her subjects, watched with delight as decorations in the country's national colours filled the skiesPhoto: © Getty Images