Annual photo session prior to the holiday of the Royal Family.
On Tuesday September 15, 2020 it is Prince’s Day, the festive opening of the new working year of the States General (the Upper and Lower Houses). On this day the King drives to the Binnenhof in The Hague in the Golden Coach and reads the speech from the throne in the Ridderzaal. The speech from the throne contains the most important plans of the government for the coming year.
Later that day, the Minister of Finance hands over the Budget Memorandum and the national budget to the President of the House of Representatives. He does this on behalf of the government. In the Budget Memorandum and the national budget, the government indicates how much money is available for the various plans and where the money for the implementation of the plans comes from.
Prince’s Day is an important day for Dutch politics. It takes place every year on the third Tuesday in September. Article 65 of the Constitution provides that on the third Tuesday of September (…) an explanation of government policy is given by or on behalf of the King in a unified meeting of the States General. Article 105 paragraph 2 of the same Constitution adds that this coincides with the submission of the budget. This is followed by general considerations in the House of Representatives, after which the National Budget is also discussed. (Budget note).
Prince’s Day is accompanied by the necessary rituals. The king makes a tour with the Golden Carriage through The Hague, and the Minister of Finance walks around with a mysterious suitcase that bears the inscription “Third Tuesday In September”. This briefcase contains the “Memorandum of the billions” (Miljoenennota). The content of this is officially kept secret until Prince’s Day, although parts of it usually leak out. All ladies attending the delivery of the throne speech are wearing striking hats, which are later discussed in the media. Traditionally, the Constitution stipulated the day on which Prince’s Day falls. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the session of the States General was initially opened on the first Monday in November, and later on the third Monday in October. When a one-year budget was introduced in 1848, the House wanted more time to deal with this budget. Therefore, Parliament’s parliamentary year was extended by bringing the opening date forward another month, to September. Monday was not an ideal day. It was difficult for a large number of MPs from remote parts of the country to be in The Hague on Monday. To prevent them from having to travel on Sunday (Sunday rest), the constitutional amendment of 1887 replaced Monday by Tuesday. The annual session of the parliament was extended not only by opening it earlier, but also by closing it later. On Monday, the day before Prince’s Day, the Minister of the Interior drove to the Ridderzaal in a court carriage to close the session. Minister De Gaay Fortman just went in his official car, but his successor Hans Wiegel restored the carriage and even put on a nineteenth century uniform, complete with stitch. The constitutional reform in 1983 changed the term of office of the States General from one year to four years. After that, this day was maintained in the Constitution as the day on which the Speech from the Throne is delivered. The name Prinsjesdag for the opening of the session of the States General became fashionable around 1930. Prince’s Day was originally the festively celebrated birthday of the Stadtholder Prince Willem V (8 March). In patriotic time, Prince’s Day was used to hold demonstrations of Orange spirit. On the basis of this, it was probably decided later to call the day of the solemn opening of the States General also Prince’s Day.
Prince’s Day derives much of its splendor from the role of the King and his House. But that role has never been undisputed. As early as 1872, Abraham De Kuyper criticized De Koning’s reading of the Speech from the Throne in De Standaard. In view of the ministerial responsibility introduced in 1848, he believed that one of the ministers should perform this task. But in his reigns he kept the tradition alive. One hundred years after Kuyper, President of the Chamber Vondeling made a proposal to change the scenario: the King would henceforth not be surrounded by the members of his House when he delivered the Speech from the Throne, but by the members of his government. Along the way, the procession successively passes the monument to Queen Wilhemina, the Kneuterdijk Palace, the Hotel des Indes, the Lange Voorhout Palace, the King’s Cabinet on the Korte Vijverberg and the Mauritshuis. The procession enters the Binnenhof through the Grenadierspoort. Here the king and his entourage get out at the Ridderzaal. The Golden Coach was donated to Queen Wilhelmina in 1898 by the people of Amsterdam. In 1903 it was used for the first time with Budget Day.
The Golden Coach is built of Javanese teak and partly covered with gold leaf. The national national coat of arms has been incorporated on both sides of the trestle. The four wheels of the carriage symbolize suns. The cornice of the carriage shows the arms of the then 11 provinces of the Netherlands. In addition, the coat of arms of the city of Amsterdam can also be seen.
The carriage is a sedan on eight springs, pulled by eight horses. Only when the head of state uses the carriage is it drawn by eight horses. At the wedding of Willem-Alexander and Máxima, the carriage was drawn by six horses.
Due to the coron crisis, the royal driving tour and the balcony scene will not take place this year on Prince’s Day. King Willem-Alexander will read the Speech from the Throne (in the Grote Kerk and not in the too small Ridderzaal), but he will not be in the Glass Carriage. There is limited military ceremonial at the Grote Kerk and Noordeinde Palace. There is no public welcome in The Hague on this day.
Text of the speech of His Majesty Willem Alexander, King of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau:
Many thanks to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for the initiative to open this online day with the Wilhelmus. How special is it that we managed to form a unit at a distance from each other and thus lay the foundation for many, to be able to sing along throughout the country. King’s Day at home promises to be a unique King’s Day. And especially unique, because I hope it will be the very, very last King’s Day home of history. So try to make the best of it. So that you will always remember later how you experienced this day at home and yet together. You can do this, for example, by uploading and displaying your activities via Koningsdagthuis.nl. I would like to thank all those who put up the website in a short time. Without your work this King’s Day at home would have had much less the “we” feeling.
Of course we would much rather have been in Maastricht with the family. There, many enthusiasts worked hard for months on a very special program and I would also like to thank them for the great effort that had already been made before the sad but inevitable message that this year would not go ahead. But what is in the barrel does not sour and ‘live Maastricht’ is already in our hearts. As every year, I intensely looked forward to images of canals, squares, streets and fairgrounds, large crowds of people on their feet in villages, cities and the snow-white beaches of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. Dutch are completely out of their minds. Exuberantly partying. One of those days that, “just do it, then you act crazy enough”, does not apply to otherwise sober Dutch people. However, it should not have been so. I can well imagine that many of you had hoped for more freedom of movement after tomorrow. Here too, the teleletting was palpable. But the coronavirus cannot be lectured. So hold on, even after this King’s Day.
We do it for ourselves, but also to protect the weak in society. And to give the healthcare professionals some rest after many weeks of extreme effort. Rest they deserve to recover, and to get ready for the upcoming top achievements to catch up with the delayed medical care and unexpectedly before the virus resurfaces and hospitals fill up again with COVID-19 patients. Today our thoughts are also with all those professionals who are committed to corona and do not have time for King’s Day. Thank you for your tremendous dedication and perseverance. In March, we showed our respect for the healthcare professionals by clapping on the balcony or on the street. Now we can show our respect by persevering. Do it for yourself and do it for them.
And now it’s time for a party. King’s Day at home. Hopefully an unforgettable day. Enjoy it. Remote, but together. And, stay healthy.
Queen speaks publicly on Brexit for first time during Dutch royal visit
The Queen has spoken publicly about Brexit for the first time, telling the King of the Netherlands that “as we look toward a new partnership with Europe” the values shared by the UK and Holland “are our greatest assets”. Speaking at a state banquet in honour of King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima, the Queen added that as “innovators, traders and internationalists we look with confidence to the future”. The Queen, who remains impartial in political matters, chose to emphasise the qualities needed by the UK and one of its closet European neighbours going forward. The women of the two Royal Families, including Queen Maxima, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall, put on a dazzling display of royal tiaras during the white-tie dinner. The Duchess of Cambridge wore the Royal Family Order, awarded to her by the Queen last year. It is understood to be made from glass rather than the traditional ivory, after the younger members of the Royal Family campaigned against the illegal wildlife trade.
King Willem-Alexander reiterated comments made before about regretting the UK’s decision to leave the EU, but he respected the decision of the British people. He went on to personally praise the Queen, highlighting her now famous appearance in the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, describing her as the “most fearless Bond Girl ever” for her role alongside 007 played by Daniel Craig.
Queen Maxima brings regal glamour to the state banquet dinner at Buckingham Palace
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands have wrapped up their UK state visit with a meeting in Downing Street hosted by British Prime Minister Theresa May and a formal farewell with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. It was the first UK state visit by the Dutch monarchy in 36 years. The last state visit from the Netherlands was by Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus in November 1982, while Queen Elizabeth and her husband Philip paid a state visit to Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in March 1958.
His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima, at the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, make a state visit to the United Kingdom. The visit will take place on 23 and 24 October 2018. The King and Queen are accompanied on their visit by Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs. The state visit reconfirms the excellent ties between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as ‘North Sea Neighbors’, based on shared values in the past, present and future.
RVD, no. 170
State Visit by The King and Queen of The Netherlands
Their Majesties The King and Queen of the Netherlands have accepted an invitation from The Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom from 23rd to 24th October 2018.
The King and Queen of the Netherlands will stay at Buckingham Palace.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh paid a State Visit to Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in March 1958. The Queen has hosted two previous State Visits from the Netherlands during her reign: in April 1972, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard paid a State Visit to the United Kingdom; the last State Visit from the Netherlands was by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands in November 1982.
HM Queen Máxima sings farewell song for deceased sister Inés
A nicer and more fitting farewell could not have given the surviving relatives Inés Zorreguieta (33). They sang yesterday at the funeral songs of Bob Dylan and Bob Marley for the singer and guitarist, Argentine media reports. The sister and protégé of Queen Máxima died last Thursday in her apartment in Buenos Aires. Queen Máxima raised the song ‘Is this Love’ by Bob Marley for her younger sister, with whom she had an intimate relationship despite the age difference of 14 years. Then she sang along with her family ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s’ by Bob Dylan, fashion designer Benito Fernández told La Nacion. According to Fernandez – Máxima regularly wears creations – not the first time the Queen and her family sang the song of the American singer-songwriter. They did that in August last year at the funeral of Máxima’s father Jorge Zorreguieta. He died at the age of 89 from the consequences of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer, and is buried in the same cemetery as his daughter Inés.
Prior to the musical tribute to Inés, during which all invitees were present for the funeral, the Queen and her brother Martin gave a short speech to the most intimate guests. The rest of the guests waited respectfully outside, according to the newspaper. HM Queen Máxima, HM King Willem-Alexander and their daughters HRH Amalia (14), HRH Alexia (12) and HRHAriane (11) laid a bouquet of white flowers on her dark colored wooden box at the burial of Inés Zorreguieta. Images of the ceremony in Argentinean media show a lot of white flowers next to the final resting place covered with a stylish green party tent. Among the invited guests were, according to La Nacion, alongside the fashion designer, a range of well-known Argentinian personalities including first lady Julia Awada, director Emilio Basavilbaso of the Argentine Social Security Administration Anses where Inés Zorreguieta worked and art director and fashion consultant Sofía Sanchez de Betak. Present was also Máxima’s childhood friend Valeria Delger, who she has known since her school days at the international Northlands Colegio (bilingual primary and secondary education) in Buenos Aires.
The presence of the Dutch royal couple with the princesses and the Argentinian first lady on the farewell ceremony was accompanied by a major security operation. The king, queen and their three children flew with the KLM to Buenos Aires, according to the Argentine newspaper, where they arrived yesterday morning at 06:30am.
Inés Zorreguieta (33), the youngest sister of HM Queen Máxima, was found in the bedroom of her apartment by a friend who, together with Inés’ mother Maria del Carmen Cerruti, went to take a look when the telephone calls were not answered all day long.
Then the emergency services were immediately called in and the body was transferred to a forensic research institute. The researchers also stated that the death of HM Queen Máxima’s youngest sister was not a crime. The mortal remains have been taken for autopsy, as is customary for the presumption of suicide.
Inés was one of the seven children of Jorge Zorreguieta. He begot three daughters (Maria, Angeles and Dolores) with his first wife and two daughters and two sons (Máxima, Inés, Martin and Juan) with his second wife.
‘Inesita’ as the youngest sister of Máxima was called by intimates, suffered from depression.The youngest sister of HM Queen Máxima studied psychology at the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires. At that time she wrote a thesis on suicide and what led women to take that step, such as relationship crises. The title of the piece: ‘Gender differences in suicide and related behavior’. Inés described, among other things, that more men than women commit suicide and how their attempts also succeed more often than women’s. She graduated with 9.5 out of 10 points, worked at the UN in Panama (Human Resources and Communication) between 2009 and 2011, but returned to Argentina in 2012 due to a divorce from her then partner.
At that time her name first appeared in the Argentine media. They reported that they were being treated for eating disorders and depression. President Mauricio Macri of Argentina has expressed his condolences to Máxima. He placed a funeral ad in which he says “accompany Máxima and the whole family at this sad moment”. Inés Zorreguieta had a job through Macri.
Tomorrow the Dutch royal family is expected to arrive in Buenos Aires around 11:00 am Dutch time. HM Queen Máxima cancelled all her obligations untill further notice after hearing the sad news. The state visit of the Dutch royal couple to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which was to start next Monday, is now only carried out by HM King Willem Alexander.
Wonderful Dutch Royal Family attended winter photo session, 2018 Skiing Holiday in Lech. King Willem-Alexander & Queen Maxima with Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia & Princess Ariane.