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: 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: 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?)

Queen’s Day in Holland: join our orange party!

Have you already noted the crown in my avatars? I’m wearing it because this month will become very special in Holland’s national History. We are eagerly anticipating Koniginnedag (Queen’s Day). Queen’s Day is a Dutch holiday which has been held in April for over 100 years to celebrate our Queen’s birthday. This year is a very special edition of Queen’s Day, because Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands abdicates her throne and her son Willem-Alexander will become King of The Netherlands.

Let me introduce you into the world of our Dutch royalty.

It’s origin: a princess’s birthday party

The royal celebrations arose in 1885 as Princess’s Day to honour the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, heiress to the Dutch throne. On her accession, Princess’s Day became Queen’s Day and was formerly held on August 31.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Beatrix of the netherlands

National holiday: The Queen’s birthday

But after Wilhelmina’s abdication things got a little tricky. With the coronation of the new Queen Juliana in 1948, the celebrations had to be re-scheduled to her own birthday on April 30th. Beatrix was born on January 31st but decided not to change the date for Queen’s Day. This is perfectly understandable when you consider the numerous open air events and markets, which are traditionally held on this holiday. January might be a little cold for a street party right?


And finally: the King’s birthday

This year, two things are going to change. First, Queen’s Day will become King’s Day to celebrate the birthday of the new King Willem-Alexander. Second, the date for the celebrations will change again because Willem-Alexander’s birthday is on April 27. However, the first King’s Day will be held on 26 April 2014 because April 27th of that year is a Sunday.

This month: Orange madness

How are we going to celebrate this last Queen’s Day? With large public open air events, markets and concerts in the whole country. Most of them will be held in Amsterdam. Our capital will be overflown with a massive wave of people dressed all in orange, which is the colour of our Royal House.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Celebrations Amsterdam Orange

May I ask you a favour? Join in!

I’m planning to join the celebrations, but I cannot decide on a proper orange outfit for it. Would you help getting me dressed for Queen’s Day?

During the next weeks I will show you different orange gadgets on my Facebook page and ask you to choose between them. Those gadgets with the most votes will assemble my Queen’s Day costume.

Furthermore I will keep you up to date with all news about the festivities and our Royal Family. And of course you may expect a live-report from the coronation of Willem-Alexander and Queen’s Day itself.

Will you join me online in this?