During the annual “Rain of Decorations”, Jan Smit received the royal order Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau for his long track record of philanthropic and musical activities.
The Dutch singer and television host was supposed to be one of the three hosts of the cancelled Eurovision Song Contest 2020. Although the contest won’t happen this year, he has already made his mark, appearing in the semi-final allocation draw in January 2020. It was a significant appearance: he made his comeback after a difficult period which included major burnout.
At the age of 34, Jan Smit is the youngest person to receive a royal decoration this year. The rank of Officer is the fourth highest in the Order of Orange-Nassau and is comparable to the Order of the British Empire in the United Kingdom.
The rank is reserved for people who have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to Dutch society in the form of voluntary work in a local community or a long-lasting contribution to society. With his Dutch-language music career that spans two decades, his philanthropic activities for children’s charities both inside and outside the Netherlands, and his dedication to the Orange Fund, Jan Smit was an obvious recpient for this order.
On the day of the “Rain of Decorations”, Jan received his order out of the hands of Lieke Sievers, the mayor of the municipality of Edam-Volendam in North Holland, where the artist famously resides.
Jan was astonished. He said:
“Shortly, I was ‘kidnapped’ by my management to go to home during a meeting… There I was decorated by our mayor Lieke Sievers as ‘Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau!’ I am speechless and incredibly proud… What a great honour!”
Team Wiwibloggs would like to congratulate Jan on this wonderful news!