While the return of the Grand Prix to Zandvoort has been welcomed by many it also has been criticised. The involvement of the King's first cousin prince Bernhard of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven has been questioned. Like several other of his business deals and proceedings. Putting additional pressure on the monarchy (Bernhard only lost his place in succession due to a technicality when his aunt abdicated but would return in line of succession with his children in the unlikely case his mother Princess Margriet became Queen).
There also is the peculiar situation that the Dutch government is still very tough on the festival world but allowed this event to happen while a multi million industry in our country is still suffering.
Prince Bernhard made another gaffe by asking bands to perform for free (publicity) while the owners and the F1 world are making millions of this race and the musicians and their support network of sound engineers, stage builders etc all have spent the pandemic at home without work and only a limited amount of financial support if any at all.
So Yes there was a lovely Grand Prix race back in the Netherlands after a very long time and the Dutch driver won. But this is not exactly something that needs to be celebrated in a country where the environmental crisis means much needed homes cannot be build and a party celebrating an outdated fuel was given preference over a national festival industry that provides jobs, taxes and happiness to at least as many people.
Prince Bernhard is aptly named, like his grandfather he mixes personal charm and lots of energy and drive for good causes with a lack of understanding of public opinion and sensitivities. Their close family-bond to the monarch makes things difficult for the crown-wearer and Willem-Alexander is not always that good at reading perceptions. He and his wife are seen to like a flashy, more jet-set like lifestyle next to their dedication as representatives of the Netherlands. That Jet-Set image is getting them more and more into trouble.
The Grand Prix did not do that this year with most of the population but has in theory the potential to be an issue in years to come. It might have been smarter to stay away and watch it from home.
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