Dutch royals face punishment over Maxima’s 18th birthday party

Image copyright REX/Shutterstock Image caption Maxima and Crown Prince Willem-Alexander have been married since 2001

Dutch royal family members are being punished for a ‘lack of discretion’ over a lavish 18th birthday party for Princess Maxima of the Netherlands.

Maxima’s husband, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, released a public statement after police launched an investigation into allegations he helped authorise excess alcohol.

He has been questioned by officers who reported the party broke Covid-19 guidelines.

He is said to have wished the emperor “fortune in 2019” at the party in the summer of 2015.

‘Approval’ on the house

According to Covid-19, which limits the daily use of alcohol to two drinks for women and one per man, no more than 10 pints of beer or two-litre glasses of wine can be consumed in one sitting in a public place.

Maxima turned 18 in June of that year, but the rules only cover concerts or open-air events where thousands of people are attending.

Prince Willem-Alexander – who is 45 and had his own 18th birthday party this weekend – says he will not contest the breach of the rules and was not aware at the time that Maxima’s party broke the rules.

He added that Maxima “also took full responsibility for the situation”.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The couple, pictured together in July, have two daughters together

Rules limiting excess drinking are in place in some countries and are often raised by politicians as a means of slowing down the country’s development, particularly in urban areas where people can end up using more alcohol than their counterparts elsewhere.

Dutch media have reported that the concert, which was organised by the local government in Rotterdam, saw up to 2,000 people in attendance and that officials warned the party’s organisation was in breach of Covid-19 rules.

Willem-Alexander is also reported to have received 4,000 euros (£3,600) in a witness protection scheme for “supporting” the police investigation.

He has been forced to step back from an official duty to give up his police security detail.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Royal visitors during the party reportedly included American actress Gwyneth Paltrow

Covid-19 guidelines state: “No more than one canconsume of beer or wine(100ml) per person and not more than 10 pints(two-litre) per individual or quart(25 bottles) per quart(25 liter) of alcohol(12.5 litres)per partyper day in a totalage of the occasion.”

But Willem-Alexander is said to have asked her brother Prince Constantijn, 28, and other senior members of the family not to inform the police.

Brands including Corona and Corona Light were heavily marketed at the function, which was attended by movie star Gwyneth Paltrow, singers Robbie Williams and John Legend, and several Dutch royals, including Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.

A total of 120 bottles of beer and 10 bottles of whisky were purchased by King Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima, while 11 bottles of alcohol were given away.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Maxima and Willem-Alexander have been married since 2001

Eighteen small bags of cocaine were found in a local house the following year.

Princess Maxima and Willem-Alexander have four children.

Princess Beatrix is the Queen and Prince Bernhard is the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

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