Even though the Dutch Royals come across about as 'normal' as royalty can, they still have their fair share of scandal and soap opera entertainment to keep us all on our toes.
Take Mabel Wisse Smit as an example. The scandal (Mabelgate as it was dubbed by the British press) around her former relationship with mafia boss and drug dealer, Klaas Bruinsma, led to Prince Friso giving up his right to the throne in order to marry Mabel in 2003 after the government refused to give their permission for the marriage.Then of course we have to look no further than the Crown Princess for more scandal when her parents were conspicuously absent from her wedding to Willem-Alexander in 2002. Her father was the Minister of Agriculture during the reign of the military dictator, Jorge Rafael Videla, responsible for atrocities against the Argentine people. Although the Dutch government found no direct wrong doing on the part of Maxima's father, he offered to stay away from the wedding to keep the peace. It was a hotly debated issue during the lead up to the couple's special day.
My recent attendance at Veteran's Day in The Hague brought me within sight of the Crown Prince, and eyeball to eyeball with the Dutch Prime Minister, Jan-Peter Balkenende as they walked around the Malieveld. I found it astounding to find such figures nonchalantly wandering around (albeit with security) to talk to everyday people, and take in a horse parade.
It makes the Netherlands a little different, and although the country's innocence has been dealt serious blows in the last few years, I hope the Royal Family retains its ability to feel at home amongst the general public.