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Dutch inauguration: Thousands object to King's song

April 24, 2013
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The official anthem for Crown Prince Willem-Alexander's inauguration has been withdrawn after tens of thousands of people objected in an online petition entitled 'No to the King’s Song'. The King’s Song, Koningslied, was composed by Dutch-British producer John Ewbank. Many have criticised the song's lyrics as well as its unusual mix of traditional Dutch music and rap. Despite the mixed reaction, the track has gone straight to the top of Holland's iTunes chart since its release on Friday. The track features more than 51 Dutch artists, and the video features some of the artists flashing the three-fingered "W" (for Willem) sign. The Financial Times was among those criticising the song, pointing out its "poor grammar, eclectic mix of styles and lack of a memorable refrain".

More than 40,000 people have signed the petition which states, "In protest at this imbecilic King's Song I hereby abdicate as a Dutch subject." John Ewbank, who has written and produced a string of Dutch top 40 hits, said that the response was entirely expected after the song was put under an "enormous magnifying glass". The song includes lyrics such as "I build a dyke with my bare hands and keep the water away" and "Through wind and rain I'll stand beside you... I'll keep you safe as long as I live". The five-minute song was due to be performed in front of the new King and Queen at the inauguration on Tuesday. 

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, 45, is set to become the country's first king in more than a century when the current Queen, his mother Beatrix, abdicates after 30 years on the throne. Willem-Alexander's wife Princess Maxima will become his Queen consort. It was announced in January that the Queen felt it was the right time to abdicate to allow a new generation to take charge. Tuesday's abdication is expected to be the biggest royal gathering since Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will represent Britain at the event.

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