Dutch king expresses regret over Greek family vacation amid coronavirus pandemic

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch king issued a video message Wednesday saying he had “regret in the heart” and he shouldn’t have flown to Greece for a family vacation last week, a trip that was quickly broken off amid public uproar back home where people are being urged to stay home as much as possible to battle the coronavirus.

“It hurts to have betrayed your faith in us,” a somber King Willem-Alexander said in the video, which shows him sitting next to his wife, Queen Maxima, at their palace in a forest in The Hague.

It is highly unusual for a Dutch monarch to issue such a contrite message to the nation. The vacation also has been politically damaging for Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who under the Dutch constitution is responsible for the king’s actions.

Willem-Alexander and his family flew to Greece, where they have a vacation home, on Friday, but the king, queen and one of their daughters returned home Saturday night. Their two other daughters flew home later.

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