Princess Amalia of The Netherlands
CDC Director On Omicron: Most Cases Have So Far Been ‘Mild’ Photo by Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images

The Dutch royal family apologized after holding an outdoor party on Saturday, celebrating Crown Princess Amalia's 18th birthday, despite the government's mandate to restrict their gatherings due to COVID-19 cases.

Princess Amalia, the heir to the Dutch throne, had previously canceled indoor festivities because of the surging pandemic, but held a last-minute gathering in the palace gardens. The party was more extensive than expected. It consisted of 21 guests despite the officials telling their citizens to restrict their events to four.

According to the De Telegraaf, there were around 100 guests at the party, but the state information service RVD said 21 people had been invited and not all turned up. "The family strived to treat the coronavirus rules responsibly with this outdoor gathering and by taking precautions," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a letter to lawmakers about the party.

The royal gathering was held in a park adjoining the royal palace. Guests were tested, all required to be vaccinated and follow social distancing. The park is considered part of the private property of the royal family, a government spokesperson told CNN.

"But King Willem-Alexander informed me that in hindsight, it was not such a good idea. I think that's a sensible reaction," Rutte wrote, expressing the King's apology.

In June, King Willem-Alexander was also told off by the ministers for going against the rules during a meeting with football fans when he was seen shaking hands and disregarding social distancing at the UEFA European Football Championship.

It was reported that during October 2020, the King and his family traveled to Greece to spend the holiday despite the government firmly discouraging and not recommending foreign travels. Before that, in August last year, he and Máxima were photographed standing next to a local shopkeeper, also in Greece.

According to the government on Tuesday, the Netherlands is currently at the alert level three of coronavirus, meaning that the healthcare system is facing serious and severe pressure, primarily due to the new Omicron variant, which is expected to outpace Delta. It had been decided to have prolonged restrictions, including closing restaurants, bars and non-essential shops at 5:00 pm, until Jan. 14, 2022. People are also being encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.

King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands with his family
King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands, Queen Maxima of The Netherlands, Princess Amalia of The Netherlands, Princess Alexia of The Netherlands and Princess Ariane The Netherlands and Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands attends the concert Queen Maxima a life full of Music on the occasion of her 50th birthday in theater Carre on May 12, 2021 in The Hague, Netherlands. Photo by Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images

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