By Denis Balibouse
Prince Willem-Alexander was crowned King of the Netherlands in April, following the abdication of his mother, Queen Beatrix.
You might be wondering which country will be next to install a new monarch: England, Denmark or perhaps Sweden? I’ll give you a tip: it will probably be Switzerland, a country better known for its direct democracy, banks and chocolate than for having ‘royals’.
In fact, Switzerland has both a reigning King and Queen, although they are both quite different. Let me explain…
The Queen is a cow, from the Herens breed. This breed has a fighting nature, which is used to determine the herd’s ‘leadership’. The aggressive and feisty temperament of these cows can be witnessed every year in a tournament known as the ‘Combat de Reines’ (Battle of the Queens). In the competition, cows are pitted against each other (horns are filed down to prevent injury and cows that don’t want to fight are never forced to), a new queen is crowned with flowers once she has forced other cows to retreat.
The King is a wrestler. This year’s king will be crowned on September 1, 2013 during the Swiss Federal Alpine Festival, a triennial competition that is the biggest in the country. It includes three sports: