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: 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?)