Royalty and statesmen

The 70-year-old monarch listens as her family and members of the audience sing Happy Birthday to her
Photo: AFP
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She'd proved equally popular outside the theatre, where hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets to catch a glimpse of her. The Dutch queen was accompanied by her sister Princess Margriet who walked a few paces behind, accompanied by her husband
Photo: Rex

Her son, Prince Willem-Alexander and wife Princess Maxima arrive to join the celebrations
Photo: Rex

Queen Beatrix serenaded by theatre-goers for 70th birthday

Although she marked the date of her 70th birthday with a low-key family gathering, there was a higher profile celebration on the cards for Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands at the weekend. Joined by other members of the Dutch royal family, the matriarch attended the theatre in Amsterdam. There, the entire audience treated her to a heart-felt chorus of Happy Birthday.

The monarch, elegant in an understated gold outfit, was visibly delighted at the gesture from her family and auditorium full of theatre-goers. As she stood up from her seat in the royal box to survey the packed theatre she appeared genuinely touched by the birthday song. There had been a similar salute outside, where hundreds of well-wishers had lined the street to offer their congratulations to their queen.

Helping Beatrix mark the milestone birthday were other members of the Dutch royal family, including the queen's sister Princess Margriet - who'd recently celebrated turning 65. Also in attendance were Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his beautiful wife Princess Maxima - who made a bold fashion choice with a gold metallic trouser suit.