Looking back at the Queen’s Day 2009 attack

Photo: Apdency - public domain

What was meant to be a lovely day turned into a nightmare.

On Queen’s Day 2009, a man drove his car through the celebrating crowds towards the bus carrying the Dutch Royal Family – killing seven people and eventually himself.

The royal family celebrated the day in Apeldoorn. As the open-top bus made its last turn towards Het Loo Palace, the car made its way through the crowd and slammed into De Naald, an obelisk-shaped monument.

Just seconds later, first responders were on the scene, trying to save the many injured people as the royal bus sped up. The royal family could be seen gasping and visibly shocked as they were driven to safety. They spent the afternoon in Het Oude Loo on the estate. In addition to the fatalities, ten people were injured, of which two were seriously injured.

The driver, who was initially conscious, told police the attack had been directed at the royal family. His death the following day ended any possibility of prosecution.

That evening, then Queen Beatrix addressed the nation with the words, “What started out as a beautiful day has ended in a terrible tragedy that has shocked all of us. People who were standing nearby, who saw it happen on television, all those who witnessed it, must have been watching in astonishment and disbelief. We [the royal family] are speechless that something so terrible could have happened. My family, myself, and, I think, every person in the country feels for the victims, their families and friends, and all who have been affected by this incident.”


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