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Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander apologise after breaching COVID-19 guidance

The Dutch government has advised people to limit their social contacts

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima have been forced to apologise after a party for their eldest daughter appeared to breach government advice.

According to De Telegraaf, the Dutch royals hosted a gathering in the gardens of their Huis ten Bosch Palace home to celebrate Princess Catharina-Amalia's 18th birthday last Saturday, with 21 guests reportedly in attendance.

It comes at a time where The Netherlands has advised people to have no more than four people visiting their homes amid rising coronavirus cases in the country.

READ: The Queen cancels pre-Christmas family lunch 'with regret'

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Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said in a letter that the royal family "strived to treat the coronavirus rules responsibly with this outdoor gathering and by taking precautions". He added that all guests were asked to take a test and that all were vaccinated.

Mr Rutte said that King Willem-Alexander had expressed regret over the party and informed him "in hindsight, it was not such a good idea".

It comes after the Dutch royals issued a personal apology on Twitter after allegedly breaching social distancing guidelines while on holiday on the Greek island of Milos in August 2020.

A message on the royal family's social media account read: "A photo appeared in the media in which we keep too little distance. In the spontaneity of the moment, we did not pay close attention to that. Of course we should have. Because compliance with corona rules is also essential on holiday to get the virus under control."

MORE: Crown Princess Mary's Christmas plans uncertain after testing positive for COVID-19

MORE: Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway's 18th birthday celebrations postponed

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Princess Catharina-Amalia was welcomed in the Council of State

Future queen Princess Catharina-Amalia turned 18 on 7 December and last week, she was officially welcomed in the Council of State upon her milestone birthday.

The Dutch royals also shared a photo of their family reunion as their middle daughter, Princess Alexia, 16, returned home for the Christmas holidays. She is currently studying for her International Baccalaureate at UWC Atlantic College in Llantwit Major, Wales.

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