The Dutch Royal Family have today celebrated Prinsjesdag, the traditional opening of parliament.
At 13:00, the royal family departed from Noordeinde Palace in the Golden Coach and the Gala State Sedan, headed for the Parliamentary Halls in The Hague. An incident took place during the route to the Ridderzaal, when a 29-year-old man from Winterswijk throw a tealight candle holder at the Golden Coach, hitting one of its windows. Quickly thereafter, police dove on them man and arrested him (it is believed he will be charged with the disturbance of public order). According to an eyewitness, the man shouted “Here’s a grenade!” just before he threw the candle holder. The witness also said that “[Princess] Máxima looked very frightened,” as no doubt the incident brought back memories from last year’s Koninginnedag.
However, both carriages arrived to the Ridderzaal with no further complications. Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, and Prince Margriet and Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven arrived first, coming from the Gala State Sedan; before the Prince of Orange, Princess Máxima and Queen Beatrix disembarked from the Golden Carriage.
Once inside the Ridderzaal, the Queen read a speech which outlines the Dutch parliament’s plans for the coming year. The main points of this year’s Budget speech was emphasising a stable government and econonmy for the Netherlands. Beatrix also touched on the need to increase the retirement age to combat a higher life expectancy, as well as the current globabl economic environment. “The Dutch pension system is robust compared with those in other countries…To guarantee future generations a good pension when they retire, it is only reasonable to raise the retirement age,” the Queen said on behalf of the government. Queen Beatrix also mentioned major milestones which will occur for the Netherlands Antilles, of which the islands of Curaçao and St Maarten will become countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands (and Bonaire, Saba and St.Eustatius municipalities) as opposed to being the Dutch Antilles (the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima will attend the ceremony on October 10th in the Dutch Antilles). View Queen Beatrix’s speech, in Dutch, here.
After HM’s speech, the royal family departed from the Ridderzaal heading back to Noordeinde Palace for a brief balcony appearance. During the balcony appearance, a group of citizens from the Dutch region of Twente released a large group of balloons which carried a sign stating “Tijd voor Twente”, hinting to the royal family to come to Twente for Koninginnedag 2011. The act was taken with great humour by the royals, who all watched and laughed as the balloons went floating past the balcony and palace.Filed under The Netherlands
Tagged King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands, Parliament, Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Prinsjesdag, Prof. Pieter van Vollenhoven, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Security.