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I am the only one in our family that doesn’t have a middle name and when I was small this bothered me a lot. My parents always say that it is because they couldn’t find something to go with my first name. That wasn’t good enough for me, so I decided to come up with my own. After giving it some serious thought I picked the name Beatrix, after our Queen. Rather a grand name for a little girl, but even at that age I knew she was a special lady.

Today Queen Beatrix will abdicate from her throne and hand over the reigns to her son, who will become King Willem-Alexander. Unlike other Royal families, abdication is a possibility for Dutch Royals and I think it is a good thing. Time for the new generation to take over and time for Trixie to put her feet up.

It’s on days like these however that I feel homesick. Suddenly the Netherlands seems very far away and I find myself wishing I was there, even if it was just for the day. The whole country will be celebrating and dressed up in Orange. I thought about putting on an orange top today, but it seemed pointless as I don’t think the girls at the local supermarket would get WHY I was wearing orange and why should they even care. But maybe that isn’t the point?

Thankfully I can follow today’s festivities live on the television and this evening there will be big screens set up at the local golf club to watch it all again. Me and lots of other Dutch expats will gather and sing the national anthem together, while nibbling on bitterballen.

In some ways I think being an expat can make you feel more patriotic. I feel a certain pride about being Dutch, although I am equally proud that I don’t have the dodgy accent to give away my nationality straightaway. So after writing this post I’m going to go upstairs and change. I am going to wear my orange top and celebrate the reign of a great Queen and the rise of a new King. Long may the both live!

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