back to article Dutch Queen, robot involved in opening of 3D-printed bridge in red-light district

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands enlisted the help of a small robot to open a 12m (40ft) 3D-printed steel bridge across a canal in Amsterdam's red-light district earlier this week. The structure's opening – the description of which sounds like the a game of Consequences based on a drunken Daily Mail columnist's fever dream – …

  1. Chris G

    So, I take it that Queens and royalty are not supposed to know about or go near red light districts.

    And yet, history shows us that royalty had mistresses and lovers produced bastards by the dozen as well as their 'legal' offspring.

    The Dutch Royal family are far more up front and down to earth, while others have mistresses and other sex partners while living a lie.


      Amazing to see that the places with legalized prostitution and dedicated red light districts have less rape and happier citizens... hoodathunk?

      This is only the first search result. Many more like it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So, I take it that Queens and royalty are not supposed to know about or go near red light districts.

      LOL, it's because they did that French came into existence in Rome as a bastard derivation of Rome's Latin. Or so I'm told.

      I'm more left wondering if Royal inbreeding has progressed to a point where they can no longer be trusted to handle a pair of scissors themselves, hence the way over the top use of a robot.

      I like the look of the bridge though, it's a nice structure.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        " hence the way over the top use of a robot."

        Yes, it did seem to enjoy producing an elaborate flourish rather than just using it's laser eye to slice it (and any meatbags who didn't jump out of the way fast enough.)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The Dutch royal family were until relatively recently not allowed to marry Catholics. Marrying a Catholic meant that someone had to leave the royal family, as happened when Princes Irene (the sister of the former Queen Beatrix) married Carlos Hugo of the House of Bourbon-Parma.

        Most royal families are Catholic so the Dutch royals usually had to find their partners in Germany where there was an abundance of Protestant Princes from the time Germany was still a huge collection of princedoms. That meant that, despite the quite limiting rule of not marrying Catholics, inbreeding was never really an issue.

        It's all a lot more relaxed now anyway. Maxima is a commoner of Argentinian upper middle class descent and remained a Catholic when she married, the then Crown-Prince and now King, Willem-Alexander (who obviously remained a Protestant).

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          "Most royal families are Catholic" Really? Liechtenstein? Belgium? Sweden? UK? Denmark? Norway? The Tsars weren't RC either.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            The royal families of Liechtenstein and Belgium are Catholic. The Russian royal family were and the Greek royal family are not Roman Catholic but Orthodox Catholic, definitely not Protestant.

            Whether on the throne (Spain, Liechtenstein, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco) or 'temporarily' off the throne but still around (Italy, Greece, France, Portugal, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria), the majority is Catholic.

            All the major long running royal families are for logical historic reasons Catholic. They were either formed in a time when Catholicism was the only thing or formed in a region where Catholicism still is the only thing. All the big names, Habsburg, De Bourbon, D'Orleans, House of Savoy, Hohenzollern etc. have a long Catholic tradition.

            Most of the protestant royal families (Netherlands, UK, Denmark, Norway) are offshoots of German princedoms. That's where the reformation took place and where, obviously, the first Protestant royals came to be.

            There have been some changeovers and splits, though. The Protestant House of Luxembourg-Nassau switched to Catholicism as Luxembourg’s population was overwhelmingly Catholic. The members of the House of Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha who sit on the Belgian and British throne consider themselves Catholic in Belgium but Protestant in the UK.

            Anyway, my point was that, despite most royal families being Catholic which might have limited the choice of partners for Protestants, inbreeding has not been an issue among Protestant royals because of the abundance of Germans with 'blue blood'.

            1. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Total bollocks.

              "are not Roman Catholic but Orthodox Catholic, definitely not Protestant." i.e. definitely Catholic in the context of Roman Catholicism.

              The Russian Orthodox Church is part of Eastern Orthodoxy, i.e not Roman Catholic.

              Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are not the same.

              We may as well say the UK is RC by your definition as the Monarchy is High Church, which is sort of feminist Roman Catholicism/

              Whilst the UK, for example may have imported a couple of nasty foreigners, as the Gammon say, the British monarchy goes back rather a long way, even before that nasty Norman Viking Bill the Bastard Conker.

              "despite most royal families being Catholic" "offshoots of German princedoms". So you seem to want your cake and eat it.

              All the extant major long running royal families are for logical historic reasons not Roman Catholic. They were either formed when Roman Catholicism claimed to be totally omnipotent or strengthened because of the arrogance of RCs

        2. anothercynic Silver badge

          Same applies to the UK. There cannot be a Roman Catholic on the throne since that is fundamentally incompatible with the fact that the person on the throne is also the head of the Anglican Church, which as any fule no, is not a Catholic faith.

          Those who have married Roman Catholics have been removed from the line of succession to ensure that Roman Catholics don't get anywhere close. The joys of Henry VIII and his shenanigans still delivering fun 6 centuries later.

          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Quite. But apparently the British monarchy is just an offshoot of German principalities! FFS.

            Also, Prince Philip was Greek Orthodox and therefore, according to AC, was Catholic, meaning Roman Catholic, if you read the claims.

            This is why I object to the term "Catholic", often arrogantly used without the C being capitalised, instead of the more correct Roman Catholic. Many RCs, being arrogant tw&ts beleive the Eastern Orthodox chirches are "Catholic" (read Roman Catholic).

          2. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

            New Rules from 2015

            The new rules also allow members of the Royal Family to marry a Roman Catholic and become king or queen.

            However, a Roman Catholic royal still cannot become the monarch.


        3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Maxima is a commoner of Argentinian upper middle class descent

          and Basque lower nobility.

    3. MrBanana Silver badge

      "have mistresses and other sex partners while living a lie"

      I can't imagine what current political leader, with the somewhat appropriate initials BJ, you might be referring to.

  2. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Junkie bridge

    My Dutch fiancee told me to buy a bike on Junkie Bridge, but to pay no more than eight guilders for it. Paying more pushes the price up for everyone. It's a bridge where junkies sell their stolen bikes. If your bike is stolen you can buy it back there if you are quick enough. Or you could call the police or fight a junkie, but good luck with that. I asked her how I'd know if someone was selling a bike and she said, "Well, if it's a junkie pushing a bike then ask them."

    I paid twenty four guilders, and my fiancee grimaced but said, well it is a mountain bike.

    Apparently this is societally accepted. The junkies get an income, the public get bikes. I bought a second one, a typical rusty black excuse for a bike. Because Holland doesn't have hills, let alone mountains.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Junkie bridge

      Holland, no, you'd have to head south east for that, in other provinces. And they're at most hills.

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Junkie bridge

        It's as flat as a Doctor Who set, I kept on having nightmares about daleks. In Scotland we have underpasses, where people and vehicles move under roads. You can't have that there because sea-level. 1953 and all that. No stepping on the sand-dunes.

        1. Dave559 Silver badge

          Re: Junkie bridge

          "In Scotland we have underpasses, where people and vehicles move under roads. You can't have that there because sea-level."

          Actually, there is at least one bridge in the Netherlands where the road does go underneath the sea (well, former Zuiderzee, but now one of the water channels around the Flevoland island polder).

          And in most places where cycleways or roads cross railway lines, the cycleway or road dips down into an underpass under the railway, rather than have the inconvenience and safety risk of level crossings. Even better, where a cycleway is next to a road, the cycleway sensibly enough only dips down just enough to let you cycle under the railway (so that you have less far to cycle back up the other side), rather than descending to the same depth as the road, which needs to be deep enough to let lorries, etc, pass through.

          The Netherlanders really have never let a trivial thing like the level where the water would like to be at get in the way of their lifestyle! (The whole history of the polders and the Delta Works would make a fascinating "Geek's Guide" article…)

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Junkie bridge

      "Junkie" is likely a person who didn't receive adequate help. Probably they could lead a normal life if they could access the drug they need legally and at cost.

      It strikes me that so many people are not interested in the "why?" and just accept that those people are that way by their own making.

      World needs more empathy and critical thinking.

      1. Snowy Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Junkie bridge

        Kurzgesagt did a video on Why The War on Drugs Is a Huge Failure. We should end it and do harm reduction instead.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Junkie bridge

          Many "junkies" caught in this are people suffering from chronic pain. Doctors who believed in the "opiates are bad" propaganda reduced prescriptions or even cut them completely. What a patient is such position can do? They'll get the pills somewhere else and if they don't get pills they eventually end up shooting heroin, as that's what most commonly a dealer would have in stock. They can't go to a doctor, because doctors don't prescribe pain killers to "junkies". It's a vicious circle without a way out, just so that a group of people can feel good about themselves, that their anti-drug propaganda somewhat helps anyone - yes, it helps criminals.

          They can't stop taking the drug, because in many cases pain isn't curable. They can partially replace it with medical cannabis, but try to get it with a drug addict label - and in many prejudiced eyes, they'll still be "junkies".

          1. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: Junkie bridge

            Sorry, hoor, elsergiovolador

            I don't use the word junkie as a pejorative, just as common speak for opiate addict.

            I didn't say anything nasty about the junkies in my post. I have personal anecdotes about someone I cared for that I'm not in the mood for sharing. This is worth sharing though. He said to me, "People who smoke dope [ie cannabis] are really stupid, aren't they?"

            "No, no, you are really stupid, you are killing yourself quickly."

            He died of bone cancer at a young age, presumably random and unrelated to his drug issues.

            I believe in the Portugal model.

        2. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

          Re: Junkie bridge

          As that old hippy rag, The Economist, has been saying for years.

      2. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Junkie bridge

        Indeed. For example the only really dangerous thing about marijuana is the law. I know that is different but it is an indication.

        Trials carried out in many countries have proved that decriminalising or helping addicts with free drugs work. Does religion have a part to play in this?

        1. Snowy Silver badge

          Re: Junkie bridge

          Yes law as directly lead to Marijuana being stronger and more dangerous with an increase in THC and a decrease in CDB.

          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Junkie bridge

            Thanks, but as that is from gov. USA can one guarantee it is reasonably impartial?

      3. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: Junkie bridge

        Perhaps they could lead a normal life if they accepted the help available to them and didn't selfishly commit crime causing distress to others just to satisfy their own desires.

        If someone gets a high from knifing junkies on a bridge, pushing them into the river and retrieving the bicycle the junkie stole from them, presumably you'd have empathy with them too, and tell us to think more critically about their needs?

        People that become junkies: Criminals.

        People that suffer an unfortunate drug addiction: Normal people, who seek and receive help.

        The rest of us: Victims of the first group.

        Empathy? I have more empathy for people that actually choose to work in a window in the red light district.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Junkie bridge

          "Perhaps they could lead a normal life if they accepted the help available to them and didn't selfishly commit crime causing distress to others just to satisfy their own desires." So that sorts out the right wing godbotherers, now how about sufferers from substance abuse.

  3. jonathan keith


    My suspicion is that, with a name like "Queen Maxima", it's the 'royal' that's the actual robot, hiding in plain sight, and the janky comedy sidekick is there simply to distract the sheeple.

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: ROTM

      Did you know that the silly snarl words sheeple and sheople were invented by the traditional woke cancel culture aka godbotherers. Which is ironic as said people self identify as sheep!

      Baaaa, baaaa, feed my sheep.

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Either or

    This may attract a new kind of visitor, one who is more interested in architecture and design

    This kind of thinking inside of the box plus power has throughout the history caused immeasurable suffering.

    Does this "a new kind of" visitor also come on their high moral high horse? Probably that's how it looks like in their sick authoritarian fantasies.

    Let me break something out to you:

    People who are interested more in architecture and design, can also be interested in meeting ladies or men by the hour and challenging their own ideas with the help of substances that are not allowed by their local governments, if you know what I mean.

    If that bothers you, maybe you need a therapy instead of forcing everyone to live by your imaginary standards.

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Either or

      Indeed, But said hypocritical people are very frequent partakers of many shades of sex and drugs.

      "Tony Anatrella, an 80-year-old Catholic priest and former Vatican adviser who campaigned against same-sex marriage and gay priests is facing trial for telling gay men he could cure them with sex."

      Matt Gaetz, Trump

      "A Republican state Sen. Tom Whatley, of Alabama, was caught browsing transgender porn online, just a week after he voted in favor of a bill that attacks transgender minors’ access to lifesaving health care"

      "Paul Edward “Acton” Bowen, an evangelical pastor from Alabama who was sentenced to 1,000 years in prison for sex crimes will spend the rest of his life behind bars after the Alabama Supreme Court refused to review his case ..... pleading guilty to 28 counts of sexual abuse involving victims as young as 13.

      And lots, lots more.

  5. gandalfcn Silver badge

    Fancy a quick bonk springs to mind.

  6. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Death to kings!

    Now that it's proven robots can replace Queens, it may be a good time to get rid of all Royalties, as they are utterly useless.

    1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

      Re: Death to kings!

      Amen to that. Ours proved their worthlessness when Johnson illegally prorogued parliament, finally kicking that old chestnut about 'the final guardian of democracy' into the long grass.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "12m 3D-printed steel bridge"... that's an awful lot of magnetic ink

  8. Blackjack Silver badge

    Give it ten years; and you will have automated kiosks that will 3D print sex toys. You could put them to the condom machines.

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