RSS
Attacking Queen Beatrix
Was an attempt to ram the Dutch royal family an attack on the queen, or on the national self-image?
 

A man in the Netherlands killed five bystanders at the annual Queen's Day parade as he tried to ram his car into the Dutch royal family, said Nick Squire in Britain’s The Telegraph. The driver, Karst Tates, narrowly missed the queen’s open bus, crashed into a statue, and later died from his injuries. Queen Beatrix and her family, uninjured, watched in “horror” as Tates plowed toward them through the sea of “orange wigs and bizarre hats.”

He may not have harmed the royal family, said the Dutch daily Volkskrant (via DutchNews.nl), but he killed a “national illusion”—that Queen Beatrix and other public officials in the Netherlands are “free and approachable.” And by attacking on our “only real national day of celebration,” Tates robbed us all of a key “only-in-the-Netherlands” curiosity.

It’s unclear what his motivation was, said David Charter and Philippe Naughton in The Times of London. Before Tates died, he confessed that he was targeting the royal family, but he didn’t have a criminal record and the police ruled out terrorism. Tates was recently fired from his job as a security guard, and “faced losing his home,” but the answers as to why this tragedy happened may have died with Tates.

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week