King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his queen, Maxima, had to put an end to their Greek holiday after just one day following the uproar their getaway caused at home.

The outcry their holiday caused was because of the timing. Just three days before the royal couple with their two daughters left for Greece, the government had advised its citizens to spend their autumn holidays locally, in the Netherlands, to minimise the risks caused by a major outbreak of COVID-19.

“We will abort our vacation,” the royal couple said in a statement last Friday, following the public outcry raised on news of their Greek holiday.

“We see people’s reactions to media reports. And they are intense, and they affect us. We do not want to leave any doubts about it: in order to get the COVID-19 virus under control, it is necessary that the guidelines are followed. The discussion following our vacation does not contribute to that,” the royal couple said in their statement.

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The royal travel plans caused embarrassment to the government with Prime Minister Mark Rutte telling parliament in a letter that while he had been aware of the king’s plans, he had “realised too late” that they did not comply with the recently announced COVID-19 measures.

“This should have prompted me to reconsider the intended holiday,” the Dutch prime minister said.