King Willem-Alexander, the king of the Netherlands, and his wife, Queen Maxima (49), cut short their holiday to Greece this week and went back to the Netherlands, which is in partial lockdown.
The royals’ holiday caused outrage at home as it flouted lockdown laws.
Speaking from their royal residence Huis de Bosch in The Hague on Wednesday, the 53-year-old admitted “it hurts to have betrayed the people’s trust”.
The couple, along with their youngest daughter, Princess Ariane (13), were spotted heading back to Netherlands at the weekend, just one day after arriving at their private villa on the Peloponnese peninsula of Greece.
Their two eldest daughters, Princess Alexia (15) and Princess Catharina-Amalia (16), who is heir to the throne, flew home three days later as they could not get return plane tickets immediately.
In a video statement broadcast on Wednesday, the king confessed he’d been “very unwise” to “disregard the impact of the new restrictions on our society” which had urged people to stay at home and limit international travel.
“Our journey to Greece has provoked strong reactions from many Dutch people. It hurts to have betrayed your trust in us,” he said.
“Our own decision to return was made with the realisation that we should not have gone.
“From the start of the coronavirus, we have done our best. It is a difficult time for everyone.”
He concluded by saying, “We will continue to work with you to get the coronavirus under control. So that everyone in our country can then resume normal life as soon as possible.
“That is the most important thing now and we will continue to do so, to the best of our ability. We are involved. But not infallible."
Last week the Dutch government ordered all bars, restaurants and coffee shops to close for around four weeks under what Prime Minister Mark Rutte called a “partial lockdown” to curb a surge in Covid-19 infections.
Sources: dailymail.co.uk, hellomagazine.com