King Willem-Alexander & Queen Maxima were protested in Cape Town, South Africa

Here are more photos of The Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima during their three-day tour of South Africa. Maxima’s final look was not great – she had been wearing bold colors and well-coordinated ensembles, and then for a visit to the Norval Foundation in Cape Town, she looked like she was wearing a dress meant for a teenager. The puffy, stiff skirt is so bad, although the color – a vibrant pink-peach shade – is lovely.

Perhaps the vibe was off because earlier in the day, the king and queen visited the Slave Lodge Museum in Cape Town and there was a big protest. Going from the photos, it feels like their arrival at the museum went smoothly, they went through the museum and posed for photos, then as they were exiting the museum, all hell broke loose.

Angry protesters in Cape Town confronted the king and queen of the Netherlands on Friday as they visited a museum that traces part of their country’s 150-year involvement in slavery in South Africa.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were leaving the Slave Lodge building in central Cape Town when a small group of protesters representing South Africa’s First Nations groups — the earliest inhabitants of the region around Cape Town — surrounded the royal couple and shouted slogans about Dutch colonizers stealing land from their ancestors.

The king and queen were put into a car by security personnel and quickly driven away as some of the protesters, who were wearing traditional animal-skin dress, jostled with police.

The Dutch colonized the southwestern part of South Africa in 1652 through the Dutch East India trading company. They controlled the Dutch Cape Colony for more than 150 years before British occupation. Modern-day South Africa still reflects that complicated Dutch history, most notably in the Afrikaans language, which is derived from Dutch and is widely spoken as an official language of the country, including by First Nations descendants.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima made no speeches during their visit to the Slave Lodge but spent time walking through rooms where slaves were kept under Dutch colonial rule. The Slave Lodge was built in 1679, making it one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town. It was used to keep slaves — men, women and children — until 1811. Slavery in South Africa was abolished by the English colonizers in 1834.

[From ABC News]

I’m including a video of the king and queen’s exit, a video which has been widely circulated on social media. There’s been a lot of focus on the fact that Willem-Alexander got into the car before his wife, but my analysis of the video is that the security people probably followed the original plan, which was that the king should get into the car on the left side. Maxima was being guided to the other side, and you can also see that Maxima almost looks like she wants to stop and speak to the protesters. As for the substance of the protest… while Willem-Alexander apologized for his country’s history in the slave trade and the violent oppression in South Africa, he’s stopped short of offering anything more than words, no restitution or reparations. This was also his first trip ever to the continent of Africa since he became king. So… I was wrong! I thought Willem-Alexander and Maxima were showing the British royals how to tour, but they f–ked it up too.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima battle their way to their car after an angry crowd gathered near the Slave Lodge museum in #CapeTown, where the Royal pair were on a visit.#RoyalsFamily

— Attentive Media (@AttentiveCEE) October 20, 2023

Photos courtesy of Cover Images, Backgrid.

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