King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima arrived yesterday for the annual Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day) that marks the official opening of Parliament in the Netherlands.
Thousands of well-wishers braced the rain in support of the Royal couple, excited to catch a glimpse of The King and Queen as they made their way through the streets of The Hague. Despite the less than ideal weather, Maxima opted for a show stopping floor length floral gown, designed by Jan Taminiau, as she appeared alongside her husband.
The pair travelled to the Binnenhof, the Dutch House of Parliament, in the Golden Carriage that has been a part of Prinsjesdag since the early 20th century. Made of teak wood and covered in gold leaf, the carriage was a tribute to Queen Wilhelmina from the people of Amsterdam for her investiture in 1898.
Tuesday also marked the last appearance for the carriage before it undergoes a period of restoration, which is expected to take three-to-four years. For the time being the Royals will utilise an older ‘glass coach’ for Prinsjesdag and other ceremonial occasions.
As part of Prinsjesdag, The King made a speech outlining the government’s plans for the upcoming year, much like The Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament. The speech was written by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
This year, Willem-Alexander’s speech was optimistic mentioning how, at last,”the Dutch economy is growing again” but continued to emphasise how important it is that the government not “sit back [because] unemployment is still too high.”
Following the speech, the couple returned to Noordeinde Palace in the Golden Carriage where they were able to make their traditional balcony appearance as the rain had thankfully subsided. The pair was joined by Prince Constantijn and his wife, Princess Laurentien, Willem-Alexander’s brother and sister-in-law.
Photo: provincie drenthe