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.
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.
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?)