Spoonerism Day

Today is what I have come to think of (thanks to my friend Robert Coren) as Spoonerism Day, in honor of the famous (and undoubtedly apocryphal) transposition from Rev. Spooner himself: my queer dean for my dear Queen. But what’s the connection to April 30th?, you ask.

Two things: April 30th is the birthday of Robert’s and my friend Dean Allemang, and Dean is out and queer (though not, in my opinion, a queen); and it’s Queen’s Day in the Netherlands. Well, today it’s Queen’s Day for the last time (for a while), since the Queen abdicated today, in favor of her son Willem-Alexander.

From Wikipedia:

Koninginnedag … or Queen’s Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 30 April (the 29th if the 30th falls on a Sunday), Koninginnedag is Queen Beatrix’s official celebration day. Though Queen Beatrix was born on 31 January, the holiday is observed on 30 April as it was the birthday of her mother and predecessor, Juliana. Many of the traditional activities are held outside, and observing the holiday in April makes suitable weather more likely.

In 2014, the holiday will become known as Koningsdag … or King’s Day following the investiture of Willem-Alexander as king of the Netherlands on 30 April 2013. Koningsdag will be celebrated on 27 April, Willem-Alexander’s birthday. However, the first Koningsdag will be held on 26 April 2014 because 27 April is a Sunday.

The abdication story, from the Metro (UK):

Queen Beatrix steps down as Willem-Alexander becomes first Dutch king in 100 years

Her eldest son Willem-Alexander has ascended to the throne, ending his mother’s 33-year reign after she signed the official act of abdication at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.

The 75-year-old appeared visibly emotional as she signed the document, but she smiled warmly after greeting thousands of orange-clad well-wishers who waited for the royal family to appear on the palace balcony.

Forty-six-year-old father-of-three King Willem-Alexander is the first Dutch king since Willem III died in 1890.

His popular Argentinean-born wife becomes Queen Maxima, while their eldest daughter Catharina-Amalia, nine, becomes Princess Orange and first in line to the throne.

2 Responses to “Spoonerism Day”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    On Facebook:

    Khrysso Heart LeFey: Princess Orange? Reminds me of how Gwyneth Paltrow named her child Apple…

    Julian Lander: I think American usage would be Princess of Orange. Orange-Nassau is the name of the ruling house (dynasty) of the Netherlands. The “Orange” part is a place name in France, a region in Provence. According to Wikipedia, it is NOT related to the name of the fruit. Despite this, the color (which is probably from the fruit) is associated with the house, and hence with the Netherlands in general. This could be, I speculate, why orange is one of the colors of the State of New York.

    Khrysso Heart LeFey: Of course, on reflection, I must ask myself if it was worthwhile to compare apples and oranges in the first place.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    Richard Jasper on Facebook:

    I’m so totally down with Spoonerism that I read the headline of your post as “Snooperism…”

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