The 30th of April is Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) in the Netherlands. It is a very important holiday and everyone celebrates by putting out a Dutch flag with an orange banner (orange is the color of the royal house). This year the queen (Queen Beatrix) came to Leiden. That meant that nearly everyone in the Netherlands came too. The restaurant down our street gave out crowns and you could also buy orange fuzzy hats. The people who run the city put down carpets in the shape of big red keys. This is because the symbol of Leiden is two crossed keys. They also decorated the Pieterskerk, cleaned up all the streets and canals, and hung up orange material everywhere. There were also banners that said "Oranjes Welkom Terug" (Oranges Welcome Back) because all of the royal family studied at Leiden University. Beforehand there was a flea market and a huge choir with 100s of kids who practiced the song they would sing for the queen. Queen Beatrix came by boat, and it is too bad that it started to rain when she arrived. She got off the boat at the Rapenburg (the canal nearest our house) and then went down our street!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nicole made a chain of flowers for the prince, and when he passed she called out "Prince Willem!." He turned to look at them and said "mooi" ("nice"). Then the queen went to the Pieterskerk and watched the people who were doing gymnastics and the professional singers. A little while later she then got into her "Queen Mobile" and went home.