King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands turned in their ski’s and returned home after their week long skiing holiday in the posh Austrian resort of Lech am Arlberg. Their daughters are expected back in school on Monday and Máxima will travel to Barcelona to address a seminar at the Mobile Word Congress.
Gone are the days the royals could take a fortnight or even longer holiday, as young princess Beatrix in the fifties still was allowed to do. The absence from school was compensated with home schooling in the royal train, stationed at the Sankt Ankton railway station. Nowadays the whole country falls over backwards if the royal family even keep their children away from school for an extra day, even when the official regulations give the school director the discretion to give permission for this.
The Dutch royals have been coming to Lech since 1959, when Prince Bernhard was introduced to the budding resort up the road from Sankt Anton. Lech has been a favourite ever since and Gasthof Post and the Viermäderlhaus in the village have been welcoming four generations of royal visitors, from Queen Juliana via Queen Beatrix to now King Willem-Alexander.
Lech is popular too with Jordan’s King Abdullah and Queen Rania, and in the past the Shah of Iran spend time in Lech as well, as did Princess Diana. Princess Caroline of Hanover and Monaco usually stays in Lech’s twin Zürs, just a few kilometres down the road but sharing the same vast skiing area. © RB