THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch marked their king's birthday Wednesday with an official celebration in the northeastern city of Zwolle and festivals and unofficial garage sales around the nation.
Numbers of revelers were expected to be lower than in previous years because of wintery temperatures and showers forecast to sweep over the country of 17 million.
"Maybe the coldest King's Day ever, but the good atmosphere in Zwolle will warm everybody up. See you soon," King Willem-Alexander tweeted ahead of the celebrations.
Amid tight security, the 49-year-old king and his family were greeted in Zwolle by the city's mayor before walking through the streets watching musical performances and shaking hands with townsfolk who braved the cold to catch a glimpse of their monarch, Queen Maxima and their three daughters.
Elsewhere in the country, children and their parents set up makeshift stalls for "free markets" where they sold off toys, books and other belongings.