THE HAGUE - The Dutch public’s trust in King Willem-Alexander has recovered slightly since his family’s controversial holiday to Greece last summer, at a time when the Cabinet of the Netherlands was asking residents of the Netherlands to remain at home as much as possible and limit international travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Queen Máxima, for years the most beloved member of the royal family, also saw a dramatic decline in support which plunged from 83% last year to 68% this year, results of the annual King's Day Survey conducted by Ipsos and NOS showed.
Despite their apology to the people over the trip, trust in Willem-Alexander is still considerably lower than in previous years. A survey conducted by Ipsos at the end of last year showed a sharp drop in confidence in the king, going from 76 percent in April 2020 to just 47 percent. The level of trust has now risen to 57 percent again but still remained clearly lower than in the past.
Compassion and commitment are values less attributed to the king compared to the previous polls. Last year, approximately 70 percent attributed these qualities to the king, and now barely half of the surveyed participants said they found Willem-Alexander committed and compassionate.
The Dutch are also more critical of the role of the royal couple amid the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, almost half of those polled thought that the king and queen were sufficiently visible during the crisis, compared to just 26% now. Four out of ten respondents are of the opinion that the king and queen do not really know what is going on in society in the times of the coronavirus crisis.
Support for a monarchy among the Dutch also saw a big hit, decreasing from 75 percent in 2020 to 58 percent today. Almost a quarter of all respondents now believe that the Netherlands should become a republic, compared to 15 percent in 2020. Additionally, in the wake of cabinet formation scandals, more people now think that the king should play a role in the formation process again (41% compared to 33% last year).