A majority of Drenthe residents support the decision of King Willem-Alexander and his family to celebrate King’s Day 2024 in Emmen, according to a representative survey conducted by research firm Kien on behalf of RTV Drenthe.
Applauding royal choice
Nearly 60% of respondents said they believe Emmen is a “very good” or “fairly good” location for the royal visit on April 27. Most of the support comes from the regions of South and East Drenthe.
People gave various reasons for their support, including that Emmen is a “beautiful city” with “a lot to offer.”
“It’s good to see the attention for the northeastern part of the country, which could use a boost,” said one enthusiastic respondent.
Another said, “Emmen will be put on the map again because of this. That’s good for the economy.”
Another common sentiment was that it is “fun” that the royal family is coming to Drenthe.
Voices of dissent
However, the royal visit to the Vlinderstad (Butterfly City) is not without its critics. A quarter of Drente residents are unsure whether Emmen is a good location for King’s Day 2024, and about 15% believe the choice of Emmen is “not so good” or “not very good.”
Several skeptics said they do not find Emmen to be an attractive place. One person in that category described the city as “terrible, a desolate place.”
Others expressed negative views about the monarchy in general.
“There is nothing to celebrate about the royal family,” complained one respondent.
Still others motivated their choice from a financial standpoint.
“It’s going to cost a lot of money again,” said one person.
Assen vs Emmen
Some respondents also expressed the opinion that Assen, the Drenthe provincial capital, should have been the host city.
“Assen is trying to improve its image,” said one respondent. “And what could be better advertising than having the Oranjes over for a day?”
However, that opinion is not shared by everyone; only 20% of respondents believe the reception committee should have been located in Assen instead of Emmen.
The vast majority of residents (70%) believe that the royal visit will lead to positive attention for the province. However, fewer people, about half, would like to see Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima appear in Drenthe more often.
The last time the royal family celebrated King’s Day or Queen’s Day in Drenthe was in 2002, in Hoogeveen and Meppel.
As for what kind of reception Willem-Alexander and his family can expect, support for the monarchy in the Netherlands is declining, and even in Drenthe, a significant number of people believe that the royal house is no longer relevant. More than 30% hold this opinion. However, a larger group says that the royal house should remain in its current form (37%). Younger people are less supportive of the monarchy.
The survey on King’s Day 2024 in Emmen was completed by 401 people aged 16 or older. The questions were posed between December 4 and 8.
According to Kien, the survey results have a reliability of 95%. This means that the sample outcome can deviate by a maximum of 4.9% from the actual situation.