The 2009 attack on the Dutch royal family occurred on 30 April at Apeldoorn, Netherlands, when a man drove his car at high speed into a parade which included Queen Beatrix, Prince (now King) Willem-Alexander and other members of the royal family. The occasion of the attack was the Dutch national holiday of Koninginnedag (or Queen’s Day).
The vehicle drove through people lining the street watching the parade, resulting in eight deaths and ten injuries.It missed the royal family and crashed into a monument at the side of the road. No members of the royal family were harmed. It was the first attack on the Dutch royal family in modern times.
The driver, identified as 38-year-old Dutch national Karst Roeland Tates, was attended by emergency service workers of the fire brigade and police, taken into custody and transported to the hospital for treatment.
He died the day after the incident, the seventh person to succumb to injuries suffered during the attack. A 46-year-old woman died from her injuries days later, on 8 May, bringing the total number of deaths to eight.
At around 11:50 am, just before an open-top bus carrying the Dutch royal family made its last turn towards the palace of Het Loo in Apeldoorn.
a black older-model Suzuki Swift crashed through the onlookers, just missing the bus carrying the royal family members, and slammed into De Naald, an obelisk-shaped Royal monument.
Seconds after the attack Red Cross and Police first aiders were on site to provide the basic life saving treatments to the 17 victims, who were all taken to nearby hospitals. After the crash, the vehicle was examined by the anti-terrorist department and local police.
Dutch Policemen inspect the car that slammed into a crowd in Apeldoorn on April 30, 2009. Four people died when a car slammed into a crowd at a festival attended by members of the royal family in the western Dutch city of Apeldoorn, news agency ANP reported. It said witnesses had reported seeing four bodies at the accident scene, where a black car rammed into a monument after mowing down people gathered to watch the annual royal procession. AFP PHOTO / ANP – LEX LIESHOUT netherlands out – belgium out (Photo credit should read Lex Lieshout/AFP/Getty Images)
The attack and search were shown on live TV.Members of the Dutch royal family who were waving at the crowds gathered were shown standing up to look over at the crashed car, shocked and gasping with their hands over their mouths.
Karst Roeland Tates (6 March 1971– 1 May 2009), a 38-year-old Dutchman, was identified as the driver of the car. After the attack, he was rescued by the fire department and transferred to a hospital where he was treated for his injuries]Tates was from Huissen, a small town in the eastern Netherlands, and had no criminal record.
Tates died in the early morning of 1 May of brain injuries sustained in the crash.An autopsy was performed, no traces of alcohol were found in his blood
Tates’ motive remains unclear. He had called his mother to congratulate her on her birthday on the day before the attack and said he was looking forward to her birthday party on 3 May. He left no indication he was planning anything.Tates’ parents describe him as kind and attentive, and although there had been periods of financial trouble in his past, he had recently found work. According to his parents, Tates held no ill will towards the royal family and had described the Queen as a “stabilizing force”.
However, other reports revealed that Tates “had embarked on a mission of vengeance against society after losing his job as a night-shift security guard” earlier in the year, and had been facing eviction from his house. He told a neighbour he was depressed and had been out of contact with family for months.
The official investigation established that the attack was premeditated but not well prepared. The report said the people killed were probably innocent bystanders who were watching the parade.Tates did not intend to kill many people; he had scouted the situation beforehand but when he returned for his assault the situation had changed and people were standing in a previously cordoned-off street.
The public prosecutor assumed Tates acted alone and feared that his actions would never be totally explained.
A few hours after the attack Queen Beatrix addressed the nation in an emotional video message.
What started out as a beautiful day has ended in a terrible tragedy that has shocked all of us. People who were standing nearby, who saw it happen on television, all those who witnessed it, must have been watching in astonishment and disbelief. We [the royal family] are speechless that something so terrible could have happened. My family, myself, and, I think, every person in the country feels for the victims, their families and friends, and all who have been affected by this incident.
— Queen Beatrix
At a press conference that afternoon police reported that Tates, who was still conscious but severely injured after the accident, had told police that it was a deliberate act aimed at the royal family.He had no prior history of psychological problems and there are no indications that any sort of terrorist group was involved. Initial rumours that the car was rigged with explosives were later denied by the police.