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  #301  
Old 08-15-2015, 06:45 PM
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H.M.The King attended the 70th commemoration of the surrender of Japan at the Indische Monument in The Hague on August 15th.

https://www.koninklijkhuis.nl/agenda...ie-japan-1945/

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  #302  
Old 08-15-2015, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post

In one breath he added to accept a fully ceremonial kingship: "When the legislative process has been democratic and according the constitutional rules, I accept everything. [...] and when my signature is needed for that, then I will set that signature."
Willem-Alexander's position on the issue is no different from that of his counterparts in most of the other European monarchies. In fact, I can't possibly imagine Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Margrethe II, King Philippe, or D. Felipe VI refusing to sign legislation that has been passed by a democratic parliament in accordance with constitutional provisions or rules. If they ever did that, there would be a constitutional crisis that could even threaten the survival of the monarchy.

It is precisely because the royal assent has become de facto a rubber stamp that I have long defended that modern European monarchies should simply do away with the king's signature on legislation, as Sweden did in 1975. Although it can be argued that keeping the royal assent as a prerogative power provides an additional safeguard against the enactment of unconstitutional legislation, I feel that the role of protecting the constitution is much better fulfilled by the courts (especially a special Constitutional Court) than by the king, who, in modern times, lacks legitimacy to act on his own against the will of the legislature.

Furthermore, I strongly disagree with your premise that a "powerless king" undermines the rationale for keeping the monarchy and weakens the institution in the long run. Sweden and Japan are actually real-world examples that refute your thesis. The current king and crown princess of Sweden in particular are fine examples of a monarch and heir apparent who, despite not being part of the legislative process or the government, truly connect with civil society in many levels, do a great deal of diplomatic work on behalf of the country, and take a close interest in government policy, either via formal Councils of State and meetings of the Council on Foreign Affairs, or informal meetings with ministers and members of parliament.
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  #303  
Old 08-16-2015, 03:39 AM
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I wonder how you come to that conclusion because from the three Scandinavian monarchies the "powerless" Swedish royals have the lowest approval rates. So the connection you seem to make with the examples of Japan and Sweden: the more powerless, the bigger the popularity, hmmmm....

The King's assent indeed is a rubber stamp, like almost all decisions in a big multinational, in a big municipality or in a big hospital are rubberstamped by the chief. But the rubber stamp is needed. This means that the Head of State, the CEO, the Mayor, whatever takes a decision and adds their authority to it.

Note that a Bill is still NOT a law when a King has signed it. In all continental monarchies a ministerial contraseign is needed. The ultimate signature always is that of a minister, whom takes the political responsibility for the King's action (the signing of the bill). Only with such a contraseign after the royal signature, a Bill becomes Act.

Look at this Royal Decree (you see only the header and the end) - picture:

We, WILLEM-ALEXANDER,
by the grace of God,
King of the Netherlands,
Prince of Orange-Nassau,
Etc., Etc., Etc.

- - - - - - - - - -

Our Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is in charge of the execution of this Decree,
from which a copy will be sent to the Chancellor of the Netherlands' Orders.

Wassenaar, 1 May 2013

[signed] Willem-Alexander

The Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations,

Dr R.H.A. Plasterk [signed]
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  #304  
Old 08-16-2015, 04:14 AM
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The King has appointed new Aides-de-Camp into the Military Household. I am surprised that persons whom had high and demanding responsibilities are now aide-de-camp, which from the outside only looks like an ornament.

Yesterday the King was accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel J. de Bruyn from the Royal Marechaussee (picture). Before his appointment as Aide-de-Camp, Lieutenant-Colonel de Bruyn was commander of the Royal Marechaussee Brigade at Amsterdam Shiphol International Airport (2100 marechaussees), with brand new headquarters: the Queen Máxima Barracks (picture).

I am really amazed that a man who had such responsibilities, leading the process of building a new headquarters and being commander of 2100 marechaussees now is an aide-de-camp ánd indeed was willing to act as such (walk behind the King, say nothing, just be ceremonial)...

Here (picture) you see another gentleman willing to be "an ornament to the King": Lieutenant-Colonel H.C. Veenhuijzen, until his appointment working at the Defence Staff in The Hague and again someone who managed a major renovation - that of the Defence Staff headquarters - (picture) succesfully.

My amazement is that I thought being an Aide-de-Camp was a position of honour, held by young and promising officers. King Willem-Alexander however appoints experienced senior officers on these positions. The officers hold their rank, position and salary but I am amazed that a gentleman whom led a complex organization, was responsible for multi-million Euro projects, is willing to act as "an ornament to the King". After all he was willing to say "yes" to the idea. What is it? Prestige? Honour?

Here an Aide-de-Camp of the King in full ornate (picture), this was taken when Queen Beatrix was still Queen, as the royal monogram on his saddlebag shows.
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  #305  
Old 08-16-2015, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
I wonder how you come to that conclusion because from the three Scandinavian monarchies the "powerless" Swedish royals have the lowest approval rates. So the connection you seem to make with the examples of Japan and Sweden: the more powerless, the bigger the popularity, hmmmm....

Popularity is not a function (only) of the "power" the king has, but rather of a series of factors. It is incorrect from a logical point of view to infer that king A is more/less popular than king B because A has more/less executive or legislative powers than B. Accordingly, what I questioned was not that being powerless makes a king impopular, but rather your argument that a powerless king is "irrelevant".

The King of Sweden, for example, and the Crown Princess for that matter are certainly not irrelevant IMHO even though they are, by your standards, "powerless". First, they are kept constantly informed of government policy, as mandated BTW by the Swedish constitution. As I said, that happens in official Councils of State, which are held by the King with the government at large every 3 months or so, and in formal meetings of the Council of Foreign Affairs, which is chaired by the King and, under the constitution, must be convened before any major foreign policy decision is taken by the government. In addition, the King frequently meets informally with the prime minister, other cabinet ministers and MPs and, certainly, raises questions of public policy in private with them, fulfilling his mandate to "warn and advise".

Second, Swedish royals are extremely active in representing the country on the international stage, not only by hosting visiting heads of state in formal state visits or going themselves in official state visits overseas, but also by leading several non-official Swedish delegations in business, scientific, or cultural missions abroad.

Third, as part of their "ceremonial" duties, the King and/or other members of the Royal Family recognize the achievements of private citizens (in the form of medals or awards), and support non-governmental organizations, local communities and local businesses, which matters a lot to a lot of people. Besides, when the King delivers his annual Christmas message, or attends a remembrance service or national day celebration, or opens the Swedish parliament (reading BTW his own speech and not a government legislative program as in Britain or the Netherlands) , he actually serves as a national symbol to whom people pay attention. His words, in that sense, do matter and, without being political or controversial, Carl Gustaf and the Crown Princess actually have both drawn attention to several important social issues over the years, sometimes far more openly than monarchs in other countries who, because of their formal constitutional link with the government, but lack of political responsibility, are required to keep quiet.

Maybe it is just my personal opinion, but I strongly feel that the Swedish (or, for that matter, the Japanese) constitutional model is the way forward in terms of the future of European monarchies and I'm glad to see that Willem-Alexander, who constitutionally still remains a very "powerful" monarch, seems to agree with me. I would only make an exception in particular cases like Belgium or maybe Spain, where national tensions require a somewhat more activist king.
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  #306  
Old 08-16-2015, 07:13 AM
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I think you make more of it than it is. The difference between King Willem-Alexander and King Carl XVI Gustaf is almost zero but it is the tradition, the style. Look at the letters which Parliament sends to the King when they have voted on Bills:

The House of Representatives approves a Bill:
The Second Chamber of the States-General herewith sends to the First Chamber a Proposal of the King and is of the opinon that it should, in present state, be approved by the States-General.

The House of Representatives does NOT approve a Bill:
The Second Chamber of the States-General wishes to express gratitude to The King for His zest in promoting the interests of the State and respectfully requests Him to take the Proposal into consideration.

The Senate approves a Bill:
The First Chamber of the States-General wishes to express gratitude to The King for His zest in promoting the interests of the State and unites with the Proposal, in present state.

The Senate does NOT approve a Bill:
The First Chamber of the States-General wishes to express gratitude to The King for His zest in promoting the interests of the State and respectfully requests Him to take the Proposal into consideration.

The wording "into consideration" seems to indicate that the King has room for own decisionmaking, but it is just traditional language to which people are attached to. It is no problem anyway: for "The King" must be read: the Government, as according article 42 the King is inviolable and the ministers are accountable. Any Bill needs a ministerial contraseign so the wording simply fits with reality but is much nicer and respectful towards the King. It is just a linguïstic difference and has to do with decorum, style and tradition.

Exactly like the formula for granting persons a royal decoration (a medal): "It has pleased His Majesty The King..." Well... it all went to the machinery of state and a certain department makes decisions on granting honours. The King really has no idea on micro-level. He signs the Royal Decree with which someone is honoured with a medal. "It has pleased His Majesty The King..." it is just dressing up, some greasing oil to run things in society pretty.

:)
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  #307  
Old 08-16-2015, 10:53 AM
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The regents that are being discussed are Heads of State. Their position are no longer political but they certainly are not powerless. Being Aide de Camp means you are the right hand man to a head of state. Most likely being in the midst of lot more significant state matters than the elected politicians. Politicians come and go but the head of state remains in place for decades. Their network and contacts can not be duplicated by elected officials.
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  #308  
Old 08-21-2015, 12:59 AM
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Amased you are still amased.

Btw,it is not Royal Marechaussee...but the Royal Constabulary Force.
Marechaussee is the Dutch version of the name.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
The King has appointed new Aides-de-Camp into the Military Household. I am surprised that persons whom had high and demanding responsibilities are now aide-de-camp, which from the outside only looks like an ornament.

Yesterday the King was accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel J. de Bruyn from the Royal Marechaussee (picture). Before his appointment as Aide-de-Camp, Lieutenant-Colonel de Bruyn was commander of the Royal Marechaussee Brigade at Amsterdam Shiphol International Airport (2100 marechaussees), with brand new headquarters: the Queen Máxima Barracks (picture).

I am really amazed that a man who had such responsibilities, leading the process of building a new headquarters and being commander of 2100 marechaussees now is an aide-de-camp ánd indeed was willing to act as such (walk behind the King, say nothing, just be ceremonial)...

Here (picture) you see another gentleman willing to be "an ornament to the King": Lieutenant-Colonel H.C. Veenhuijzen, until his appointment working at the Defence Staff in The Hague and again someone who managed a major renovation - that of the Defence Staff headquarters - (picture) succesfully.

My amazement is that I thought being an Aide-de-Camp was a position of honour, held by young and promising officers. King Willem-Alexander however appoints experienced senior officers on these positions. The officers hold their rank, position and salary but I am amazed that a gentleman whom led a complex organization, was responsible for multi-million Euro projects, is willing to act as "an ornament to the King". After all he was willing to say "yes" to the idea. What is it? Prestige? Honour?

Here an Aide-de-Camp of the King in full ornate (picture), this was taken when Queen Beatrix was still Queen, as the royal monogram on his saddlebag shows.

The man pictured here is Henk Morsink,Aide-de-Camp of HM Queen Beatrix.
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  #309  
Old 08-21-2015, 03:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucien View Post
Amased you are still amased.

Btw,it is not Royal Marechaussee...but the Royal Constabulary Force.
Marechaussee is the Dutch version of the name.
Heu... French you mean...



The "Royal Constabulary Force" is an unlucky translation i.m.o. because it is usually associated with county police in Britain or with constables in the US, for example in Texas. The Royal Marechaussee is so much more than that. Seeing these marechaussees (picture) does not really make me think about county police... I fail to see why Marechaussee has to be translated while no one says "constabulary force" when we are speaking about Carabinieri (Italy), Guardia Civil (Spain) or Gendarmerie (France).
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  #310  
Old 08-25-2015, 10:02 AM
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Yesterday, August 24, King Willem-Alexander swore in the Advocate-General of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands at Noordeinde Palace:



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** anp gallery **
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  #311  
Old 08-25-2015, 12:33 PM
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The King did it in style again. I like it that he keeps taking the effort to switch his daily suit for a jacquet when he takes the oath from someone.
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  #312  
Old 08-27-2015, 03:17 PM
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King Willem-Alexander was in Germany today, August 27, to attend the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the 1st German-Dutch Army Corp and to visit the Dutch-German project "For Freedom" in Münster.



** anp gallery **


** wdr.de gallery: Königlicher Besuch in Münster **


** refdag.nl gallery: Koning bij jarig Duits-Nederlands Legerkorps (fotoserie) **
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:33 AM
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Today, August 29, King Willem-Alexander attended the Day of Resistance at the training and aftercare centre of the Foundation Base in Doorn. Former resistance fighters are reunited during the event.



** ppe gallery ** anp gallery **


** refdag.nl gallery: Koning Willem-Alexander bij Dag van het Verzet in Doorn (fotoserie) **
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  #314  
Old 08-31-2015, 11:18 AM
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King Willem-Alexander opened the Academic Year at the University of Den Haag today, August 31:



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  #315  
Old 08-31-2015, 01:17 PM
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It is not an university but a Hogeschool. That is a school for higher professional education but just below academic level.

The King looks relaxed and comfortable in his role, I must say. He immediately breaks the ice, when he meets an audience.
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:04 PM
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Thanks for clarifying that! Literally translated the "Hogeschool" is the "Hochschule" in German, and universities are often called Hochschulen here, so that's where it came from..
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:20 PM
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Sounds like a Hogeschool is what we call a (Fach-)hochschule in German, a University of Applied Sciences. With courses like interior design, physical engineering, business relations and the like. As opposed to architecture, physics or politics at regular universities. Am I right?

best wishes Michiru
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  #318  
Old 08-31-2015, 04:32 PM
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I think the destinction is less clear for foreigners since they forced us to change the system and we now have the whole master/bachelor thing. A Hogeschool is now handing out bachelors, which gives the impression that they are academic -which they are not. I know of several cases where foreign students enrolled in a Hogeschool, only to figure out later that the school is not a university and does not offer master programmes (or so they claim).

The Hague doesn't have a university though I noticed that the university of Leiden opened something there and seems to be advertising it in English as 'The Hague University'. Rediculous, but all to attract foreign students who pay high fees I suppose.
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  #319  
Old 09-01-2015, 03:12 PM
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Stange, I would say "Leyden University" has enough name and fame. Anyway, it was nice to see His Majesty. He looked relaxed, some colour on his cheeks. He will be shocked that only 11 years ago, as Prince, he held Amalia in his arms and now, as King, he sees her leaving for the gymnasium. Time really goes fast!
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:39 AM
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I know of several cases where foreign students enrolled in a Hogeschool, only to figure out later that the school is not a university and does not offer master programmes (or so they claim).
Good to know I'm not the only one who got confused although: in those particular cases it must be a little nightmare..



Today, September 2nd, King Willem-Alexander received the ambassadors of Malaysia, India, Australia and Slovakia at Noordeinde Palace:


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