My report on our last official Queen’s Day, Holland’s largest national event

Yesterday was a big day in Dutch national history: our Queen Beatrix passed her throne to the Prince of Orange. During the day I travelled around our country to report on the activities in different cities.

A summary in pictures (click for enlargement and explanation):

Queen’s Day in Holland: the royal celebration program

The big day we have been anticipating is there: our Queen Beatrix will pass her throne to the Prince of Orange. Certainly, the ceremony of the abdication and the installation of the new king with all the festivities have been planned in full detail. Let’s see what’s on the menu for April 30th.

10:00 Abdication

Queen Beatrix signs the official abdication document at the Royal Palace on Dam Square, Amsterdam. After the signature, Prince Willem-Alexander will be King of the Netherlands. Princess Beatrix and the King will appear before the public on the balcony of the palace for a short speech. Subsequently the new Queen Maxima and her daughters Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane will join them.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Abdication

14:00 Administration of Oath

The inauguration of His Royal Highness Prince Willem-Alexander and Her Royal Highness Princess Maxima will tale place at de Nieuwe Kerk. The King will swear the royal oath to protect his people and the constitution of the Netherlands. He will also receive the imperial regalia containing the crown, the scepter and the orb, as well as the royal sword and buckler. Then, the ministers of the Dutch parliament and the heads of the states Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten will swear their loyalty to the new King. After the ceremony the the royal family will return to the palace for a private reception.

19:45 Royal Boat Parade

The National Committee for the Queen’s Day celebrations has composed a song for the King. It will be performed in the presence of the King and Queen at 19:30 at the EYE Film Institute Netherlands via a video link with Ahoy Rotterdam. After that the royal couple is expected to set for a boat parade along the river IJ. During the parade there will be public entertainment provided by Dutch musicians, actors and athletes.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Amsterdam IJ

21:15 King’s Ball

In the evening the celebrations will continue at Amsterdam Museumsplein with the King’s Ball for 50.000 to 70.000 guests. The celebrations are expected to continue until 23:00.

Are you coming?

Will you be there to watch the whole spectacle? Awesome, but be aware that you are visiting on of the busiest days in Amsterdam. It is likely that Dam Square will reach capacity. Catching the action at Museumplein or one of the other large screens around the city is also a great option.

Please keep me posted with all your experiences and photos. For those of you who can’t be here, I will do a LIVE Social Media report during the whole day. So keep an eye on @MeetMrHolland on Twitter and /MeetMrHolland on Facebook.

Queen’s Day in Holland: where are you celebrating?

The last weeks we have learned a lot about the Dutch royal family and Queen’s Day traditions in Holland. Are you coming on April 30th to party with the crowd? In this post I want to give you a preview of what you can expect.

Orange madness

Have you voted for my orange outfit yet? This is just a little foretaste for what you can expect on Queen’s Day. Our whole country will drown in a flood of orange dressed people. All streets, parks and buildings will be decorated with orange gadgets. Offices will be closed so that everyone can join the party on the streets as my friends at Partners & SAM!. When there’s no room on the streets anymore, we will occupy the water. The big canals, like Prinsengracht in Amsterdam will be covered with boats filled with orange people, like my friends from Ovation Holland.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Celebrations Amsterdam Orange

Music, dance and markets

In the bigger cities of Holland you can stagger from one party to the next. Due to the official royal celebrations, Amsterdam might be extremely crowded this year. If you are only coming for the party, I recommend to check out other Dutch cities. Utrecht for instance, offers one of the biggest flea markets in Holland. At each corner of the city there will be a podium with a band or DJ playing music. In short: more than enough activities for all interests and ages.

130428 Blog Holland Queen's Day Utrecht Flea Market

Queen’s Day arrangements

Most restaurants and hotels have done their very best to offer you something special on this royal party. Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam is preparing to join the celebrations in the city together with their guests. Palace Hotel in Noordwijk offers you a relaxed transport to the big celebrations in Amsterdam, including a recovery program for the day after.

Qday

What are you doing on Queen’s Day?

What are your party plans? Are you heading for Amsterdam for the official celebrations? Or do you have a secret party tip? Please share with me.

If you can’t be here I invite you to follow me online. I will report LIVE on Twitter and Facebook so that you won’t miss the highlights of this tremendous orange party. See you there?

Queen’s Day in Holland: book a Queen for your event (2)

In my previous blogpost we talked about the protocol, the official guideline for ceremonial events. If you want to invite a member of the royal family to your event for instance, you have to work with the operational terms described in protocol. Let’s have a quick look at the rough procedure.

Blog Holland Beatrix Queens Day Events

Perfect event planning

As heads of the state, the members of the royal family are expected to join official celebrations, which are important to the royal house itself or to the public. Consider the wedding of Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima or the funeral of Princess and former Queen Juliana. On April 30th we will have two ceremonial events. First, we will celebrate Queen’s Day and second, there will be the installation of Willem-Alexander as the new King of The Netherlands. Such celebrations are always perfectly planned and organized to guarantee a smooth event.

Blog Holland queen events beatrix reception

Be quick or be cancelled

First rule for requesting royalties: if you want to invite the Queen or the Prince of Orange, you have to be a very early bird. Our royalties are highly sought-after among the event planners and they have to cancel about 250 appointments per year. The agenda of the royal family is organized by the Queen’s main secretary in Paleis Noordeinde, so he will be your first contact for all requests. If this is the first time you write an official letter to the court, you can ask the Protocolbureau for assistance.

Blog Holland Beatrix state visit

Excellent preparation

Six weeks before the event the Queen’s staff starts to prepare the visit. The court ladies or adjutants instruct the event planner about the best procedure of the event, concerning reception, introduction and seating for instance. Since our royalties have a busy schedule it is important the their visit proceeds without any problems. The Protocolbureau can also be present for your assistance.

If you are planning a large public event, the royal security service will join the preliminary discussions. The number of required security agents depends on the type and size of your event. If your event is accessible to journalists, you have to contact the Government Information Service, which is responsible for the media contacts of the royal family.

Blog Holland Beatrix etiquette

Learn good manners

While etiquette is not officially part of the protocol, it is extremely important that you know the proper manners for dealing with royalties. However, this can be quite difficult if you are not familiar with the general culture and habits of your guests. Etiquette can differ from country to country and from town to town. The Queen’s court ladies can advise you about this.

And what about you?

Do you have any experience with such ceremonial events as a planner or as a visitor? Do you have any ideas or tips you would like to share with me? Just leave them in a comment below.

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

Queen’s Day in Holland: crown yourself and support our king

Have you ever dreamed about being a queen or a king yourself? Then this is your chance to make your dream come true. For the two remaining weeks until Queen’s Day we invite you to crown yourself just like Mr. Holland did.

Coronation in 4 simple steps

You can celebrate with us virtually and show your support for our new king. How does it work? Crown your avatar, just like I did. Here is the instruction for a coronation in 4 easy steps:

  1. Visit my ‘Crown Yourself’ page at http://twibbon.com/Support/crown-yourself
  2. Choose the ‘add to Twitter’ or ‘add to Facebook’ button (or both)
  3. Modify the crown so it fits your head perfectly
  4. Share your new avatar with me and join the orange madness!

Blog Holland MeetMrHolland Crown Yourself Queens Day

What’s your royal name?

Of course a real king or queen needs an impressive royal name. How would you name yourself?

Get me dressed

Oh and by the way, I could still use your help with my outfit for Queen’s Day. So far you helped me with picking a hat, sunglasses and a suit. This week I need your support with my shoes. So please stay tuned on my Facebook Page.

You opinion means a lot to me!

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.

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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.

DEN HAAG-PRINSJESDAG-BALKONSCENE

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!)