Queen’s Day in Holland: book a Queen for your event (1)

On Saturday, 13 April 2013, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam was officially re-opend after a ten-year renovation. As one of the most famous museums in Holland, the new building had to be opened by a very special person. Who could be more appropriate than H. M. Queen Beatrix?

Are you preparing an official national or international event, which requires the presence of a royal guest? Then you have to become familiar with the ceremonial protocol. Let’s have a look at it.

Handout photo of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and museum director Pijbes looking at the fireworks at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Smooth events

All members of our royal family have the duty to represent the country at important events in Holland, such as opening celebrations, anniversaries and expositions. Their visits are strictly planned according to the rules of the ceremonial protocol to guarantee a smooth process of the event. The European monarchies have used protocol for centuries to manage their encounters with important guests. Today, it still provides excellent service to establish and maintain good business relationships.

Blog Holland Queen Beatrix State Visit

Event management at the top

Many people mistake protocol for etiquette, which is not quite the same. While etiquette delineates a code for social behavior, protocol describes the operational process for events and management of relationships. It contains the guidelines for the realization of a pleasant meeting between two parties. Consider the official handshake with important guests. How can you prevent that 100 people are standing in a queue to shake somebody’s hand? Or how can I take care that every guest gets his seat at the right table? The protocol describes how you can organize such procedures.

Due to numerous state visits and official celebrations, our royal family is a great example for excellent event management. The Queen’s secretaries and court ladies are real protocol professionals and as a meeting planner you can learn a lot from them.

Blog Holland events protocolbureau

The Protocolbureau

If you are not familiar with protocol yet you can ask the Protocolbureau for help. Their protocol experts can assist you during the planning and organization process of your event. Additionally, you can follow a two -day training about protocol management provided by The Institute of Protocol The Hague. You will learn how meetings with protocol are organized and how you can deal with international guests and international protocol.

In my next post I will give you an overview about the process of events, which are planned with protocol. But what is your own experience with such ceremonial events? Do you have any experiences, tips or ideas you can share with me?

Special thanks to the Protocolbureau in The Hague for their assistance.

Queen’s Day in Holland: a warm welcome for Willem-Alexander

On April 30th our beloved Queen Beatrix will pass the crown to her son Prince Willem-Alexander. Time to introduce our future King of The Netherlands.

The Prince of Orange

Since the installation of Queen Beatrix in 1980, Willem Alexander has been wearing the title ‘Prince of Orange’.  He was born on 27 April 1967 as the first child of The Queen and her husband Prince Claus van Arnsberg.  After completing secondary education, he performed compulsory military service in the Royal Netherlands Navy. From 1987, he studied history and received his master’s degree in 1993.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Prince Willem-Alexander

 …and his queen Maxima

On 2 Febuary 2002, the prince married Maxima Zorreguieta from Argentina. With the installation of King Willem-Alexander, Maxima will become Queen of The Netherlands. Together, they have three daughters: Princess Catharina-Amalia, who will become the next ‘crown princess’ of Holland, and her sisters Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Prince Willem-Alexander family

A busy schedule

Due to a broad number of interests and functions, Prince Willem-Alexander leads a busy life. Together with his mother, Prince Willem-Alexander represents the Royal House at official national and international events and accompanies her on state visits. Supported by his wife, he is protector of the endowment foundation Oranje Fonds (Orange Funds), which was set up as a national wedding gift. The foundation supports various social initiatives in Holland.


Important functions

Further, the Prince is an advocate for various areas of expertise. For instance, he was involved in national and international water management. In 2006, he became director of the UNSGAB, the international advisory board for water issues. Since 1998, he had been a member of the International Olympic Committee and was strongly involved with the 2012 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Besides, he had a number of functions within the Dutch military. Since January 2013 the Prince has quit all of these functions to prepare himself for the throne.


Sing along with the Dutch on King’s Day!

In a few weeks we will welcome our new King with huge celebrations. Since April 2nd there is an app that invites people to write lyrics for King’s Song. This song will be performed by famous Dutch artists during the coronation and all people in Holland are invited to sing along.

Of course you are invited too. You can join us in person or follow my Social Media live report. Will you sing along with us? (you may also sing in English!)

Queen’s Day in Holland: let me introduce you to the Dutch royalties

In my last blogpost I invited you to celebrate Queen’s Day, our Queen’s birthday with me. Certainly, before you visit a birthday party you would like to know who’s celebrating. In this and my upcoming posts I will introduce you to our royal family.

House of Orange: a young monarchy

Compared to other monarchies, the history of Dutch royalties is fairly short. Holland has been a constitutional monarchy since 1813. The first Dutch King, Willem I, was delivered by the House Oranje-Nassau. His family’s name is the reason why Dutch people are crazy about the colour orange.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Willem I King of the Netherlands

The ladies rule

When the third king Willem died in 1890, there were no male heirs left to receive the crown. From this moment, the royal ladies took the reigns. Queen Emma, the wife of Willem III reigned until her daughter Wilhelmina was old enough to become Queen of The Netherlands. She was succeeded by her daughter Juliana and her granddaughter Beatrix. So this year, after 120 years of female power, Holland will have a king again.

But enough about the history. Let’s have a look at our living royalties.

Let me introduce you

Her majesty, Queen Beatrix, succeeded her mother Juliana in 1980. Concerning legislative issues, she has limited power but as head of the state council she can advise the parliament in difficult decisions. Her main task is to represent the nation and support the Dutch society in charitable functions.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Beatrix

The Queen is the proud mother of three sons, Princes Willem-Alexander, Friso and Constantijn. The oldest, Willem-Alexander will become King of The Netherlands on April 30. His future queen will be Princess Maxima. Together, the royal couple supports various Dutch charity funds and maintains our international trade agreements.

Loving the tradition (…and the party)

While Dutch people are usually pretty down-to-earth, many of us feel strongly connected to the royal family. When our politicians abdicate, we are not particularly moved. But the whole country celebrated the wedding of Willem-Alexander and Maxima (watch it in the video below), the birth of their daughter Amalia and grieved about the death of former Queen Juliana.

Despite our democratic attitude, we love the magical charsima of a traditional monarchy. And last but not least: we love to celebrate and a royal event is always a good reason for festivities.

What is your royal touch?

Does your country have a monarchy? How do you feel about royalties? Remember, even if you are not Dutch and don’t have a queen you are more than welcome to celebrate Queen’s Day with us (you have helped me picking my Queen’s Day outfit yet?)