The mayor of the suburban Dutch town of Amstelveen has become the target of a national scandal after video surfaced that showed his hand grazing the behind of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. Mayor Fred de Graaf has denied that he intentionally touched the queen inappropriately.
The allegedly inappropriate incident took place in broad daylight on the Dutch holiday of King’s Day while Queen Máxima was with her husband. She is seen, alongside the Mayor, saluting many of the attendants at the event. The Mayor appears to put his arm lightly around the Queen, and his hand appears to linger over the lower part of her back. This is helpfully illustrated by the individual who uploaded the video to YouTube, Kevin Roberson of the Examiner, who adds the caption “He [Fred de Graaf] is grabbing her butt!”
This video has almost two million views on YouTube.
The Dutch website Joop reports that a spectator can also be seen in the video exclaiming, which has added to speculation that the Mayor intentionally touched the Queen in such a way. Joop adds that one issue with the video is that the zoom lens makes depth difficult to gauge; it is possible the Mayor was not touching the Queen at all, but merely placing his hand generally behind her so as to guide her along the crowd.
Mayor de Graaf has denied the allegations. In a statement, he said, “It’s nothing that I can remember and completely not something that I would consciously do. I know very well that this is not proper.”
Neither the Queen nor the royal family of the Netherlands has commented on the incident.
The royals were in town to celebrate the first annual King’s Day, a celebration in honor of King Willem-Alexander, who has been on the throne since last April. He is the first male monarch of the Netherlands in more than a century; King’s Day was traditionally known as Queen’s Day, but it was adapted for the new king. King Willem-Alexander delivered a speech in Amstelveen before heading to a smaller village for games, boat rides, and other festivities.