King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands released a video statement on Wednesday, apologising for their poorly-planned family holiday to Greece. The Dutch royal couple was criticised vehemently for jetting off to Greece with their three daughters at a time when the country was facing new coronavirus restrictions.

The Dutch royals expressed regret over their decision to take a holiday in Greece during the time of coronavirus restrictions. The specially recorded video message was released by the Dutch Royal Court on Wednesday. The couple admitted that they betrayal the trust of the people.

"With regret in my heart I turn to you. Our trip to Greece has provoked strong reactions from many Dutch people. It hurts to have betrayed your trust in us. Even though the trip was in line with the regulations, it was very unwise not to take into account the impact of the new restrictions on our society. Our own decision to return was made with the realization that we should not have gone," King Willem-Alexander said.

"From the start of the corona crisis, we have done our best to find space – within the limits of the corona policy – and to be there as much as possible for everyone who is looking for support in uncertain times. It is a difficult time for everyone. A time of lack, limitations and worries. From fear, anger and insecurity too. We have heard the poignant stories in many encounters, in person and digitally. We feel connected with you and with all those people who have been directly or indirectly affected," the monarch added.

The message concluded: "We will continue to work with you to get the corona virus under control. So that everyone in our country can then resume normal life as soon as possible. That is the most important thing now and we will continue to do so, to the best of our ability. We are involved. But not infallible."

They returned almost immediately but then, on Tuesday, it was revealed that only Willem-Alexander, Maxima and their youngest daughter, Princess Ariane, had come home. Princess Catharina-Amalia, 16, and her sister, Princess Alexia, 15, reportedly stayed on in Greece for several more days.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
The Netherland's King Willem-Alexander (C) and Queen Maxima were among the 2,000 guests attending the ceremony marked by the pomp and tradition of a dynasty that claims more than 2,000 years of history. POOL / Koji Sasahara

A spokesperson for the royals said it was because they couldn't get plane tickets back straight away. And less than 24 hours later, the royal apology was issued. Willem-Alexander and Maxima came under the scanner when the news about their autumn break to Greece became known to the wider public. They had to cut short their holiday after the controversy intensified.Parliamentarians, political pundits, royal reporters and members of the public alike were angry as many families across their country had to cancel travel plans due to new restrictions.