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Marengo 08-24-2008 07:19 AM

Prinsjesdag 2008
On September 16th Her Majesty The Queen accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima,
Prince Constantijn & Princess Laurentien,Princess Margriet and van Vollenhoven, will read the Speech from the Throne.Hall of Knights,The Hague.

The previous ones:

Prinsjesdag 2007

Prinsjesdag 2006

Prinsjesdag 2005

Prinsjesdag 2004

Prinsjesdag 2003

Marengo 08-24-2008 07:22 AM

Information about the day from this wikipedia site:


Prinsjesdag (in English: Day of the Princelings) is the day on which the Queen addresses a joint session of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament in the Ridderzaal or Hall of Knights in The Hague. The Speech from the Throne (Dutch: Troonrede) sets out the main features of government policy for the coming parliamentary session. The occasion is prescribed by the constitution, article 65 of which states:
A statement of the policy to be pursued by the Government shall be given by or on behalf of the King before a joint session of the two Houses of the States General that shall be held every year on the third Tuesday in September or on such earlier date as may be prescribed by Act of Parliament.

Speech from the Throne

The first part of Prinsjesdag is the Speech from the Throne at the assembly of the States-General in the Ridderzaal.
At around 12:30 on Prinsjesdag, the members of the Senate and House of Representatives enter the Ridderzaal.
They sit opposite and to the left and right of the throne. The ministers and state secretaries sit to the left of the throne. Behind them sit members of the Council of State, the government’s highest advisory body. They all sit in the enceinte, an area enclosed by unobtrusive wooden barriers symbolising that the head of state is in conference with Parliament.
Outside the enceinte are seats for the other High Councils of State, senior civil servants, high-ranking officers of the armed forces, senior members of the judiciary, the Queen’s Commissioner of the province of South Holland, the mayor of The Hague and specially invited guests.

At the stroke of one, the Queen, normally accompanied by other members of the Royal House, leaves Noordeinde Palace in the Golden Carriage for the Binnenhof, escorted by court dignitaries and a military escort of honour. Outside the palace stand an escort of honour and a military band. During the procession, salutes are fired at one-minute intervals to let the people know that the head of state is on her way to the joint session of the States- General.
As the Queen arrives at the Binnenhof, a band by the steps strikes up the Wilhelmus (national anthem). The Queen and other members of the Royal House salute the flag and mount the Ridderzaal’s steps, above which hangs a canopy.
The president of the Senate presides over the joint session. Shortly before 13:00, he opens the meeting and then appoints a number of ushers from among the members of the two Houses to escort the Queen and her entourage. On this occasion, male MPs wear their most formal dress, while female MPs try to outdo each other with extravagant hats.
The ushers receive the Queen and the members of the Royal House at the entrance to the Ridderzaal. The president of the joint session then announces the arrival of the head of state: a signal for all those present to stand. The Queen then proceeds to the throne, from where she delivers her Speech from the Throne. In her capacity of (formal) head of the Government she announces the plans for the new parliamentary year. The Queen's Speech is not written by the Queen, but by the Prime Minister and the cabinet.
When the Speech is finished, the speaker of the Eerste Kamer proclaims "Long live the Queen!" which is answered by everyone present with "Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!". This brings an end to the joint session of the two houses. The ushers escort the Queen and members of the Royal House to the door. The president then closes the session.
When the Queen leaves the Ridderzaal, the escort of honour again forms in the Binnenhof, and the procession returns to Noordeinde Palace where she traditionally salutes the gathered crowd from the balcony.

Proposal of the next year's budget

After lunch, the Minister of Finance proposes the next year's national budget and the Budget Memorandum to the Tweede Kamer. The offered budget is carried in a special suit-case which has printed on it in Dutch: "Third Tuesday of September", but due to the size of the suit-case, it is likely it only contains only a part of the entire memorandum.
The presentation is followed by a cycle of parliamentary debates on the budget. These are called the algemene beschouwingen. It is the most important moment for parliamentary policy making, as MPs can amend the budget to finance specific plans.


In the 18th century, Prinsjesdag was one of the country's most popular public holidays and was originally used to celebrate the 8 March birthday of Prince William V.
Between 1780 and 1797 — known as the Patriot era — the day was used for demonstrations of loyalty to the House of Orange, which is probably why the name was chosen in the 19th century for the ceremonial opening of parliament.
Historically, the constitution has stated that the opening of parliament should take place on a fixed date and in line with a constitutional revision in 1887, it was decided to hold the opening on the third Tuesday in September.
The opening of parliament was originally held on the first Monday in November in the first half of the 19th century and then the third Monday in October, but when a constitutional revision introduced annual budgets in 1848, more time was needed to debate the budget, so the date was brought forward a month.
Monday was considered inappropriate, because many parliamentarians in distant parts of the country needed to leave their homes on Sunday to make it to The Hague in time, so the 1887 revision moved Prinsjesdag to Tuesday.
Throughout the years 1815 to 1904, the speech from the throne was given in the assembly room of the Lower House of Parliament, or Tweede Kamer, but was moved back to the Hall of Knights after an extensive restoration of the building at the start of the 20th century.
The pomp and circumstance is still very much part of the day.

lucien 09-05-2008 12:39 PM

Pomp and Circumstance on every third tuesday in September:

Prinsjesdag,an overview

ANP Beeldbank

courtesy Royalimages/

Marengo 09-06-2008 06:42 AM

And here the official website about prinsjesdag 2008:

Prinsjesdag 2008 :coach:

And the programme of the day:

Morning: HTM puts ropes in the tram rails in the Hague, to prevent the carriages to get stuck in it. The police of Haaglanden district will place fences along the route.

Morning: At the ministery of Finance the last changes are made in the State budget. After this the pieces will be wrappe in an Orange bow and put in a briefcase.

12.45: All guests are present in the Hall of Knights

13.00: the chairman of the 1st chamber of parlament, Mrs. Timmerman-Buck, opens the joint session of the States General

13.00: the royal procession starts at Palace Noordeinde.

13.00-13.15: From the time the procession leaves the palace until it reaches the Hall of Knights the royal infantery will bring a gun salute each minute, from the Malieveld.

13.15: the royal procession arrives at the Hall of Knights. HM reach the speech from the throne.

14.00: the royal procession leaves for palace Noordeinde. This is fallowed by the balcony scene.

15.00: the minister of Finance offers the suitcase with the state budger to the 2nd chamber of parlament.

15.15: the budget will be made public on the website of prinsjesdag.

Maxie 09-06-2008 07:23 AM

Thanks for posting, Marengo! :flowers:

Just like every year I'm really looking forward to Prinsjesdag. Not only to hear what the government is up to, but also because of the pump and circumstance that comes with it. I did the most stupid thing though, I decided to go to work four days in stead of three that week... including that Tuesday. But on the other hand, maybe we're going to have a look at the Troonrede, because our company is most likely going to be involved with some part of it and as the communications department we of course need to keep ourselves updated on the current news. That I can have a look at the outfits and hats too then, doesn't hurt either... :rolleyes:

marmi 09-13-2008 03:01 AM

Marengo, this may be a silly question, but what or who is/are HTM???

Maxie 09-13-2008 03:15 AM

I think that HTM is the public transport company in The Hague, Haagse Tram Maatschappij, or something like that. It exploits the trams and busses in the city.

sgl 09-13-2008 11:10 AM

I am really looking forward to seeing the photos!

Marengo 09-15-2008 03:56 AM

Some pictures of the preparations:

Cavalry training

Carriage in The Hague

No idea what that thing is doing there


And ANP has a special gallery for previous Prinsjes days, look here.

Marengo 09-15-2008 01:18 PM

Royalblog has an article in Dutch with some pictures of the Hall of Knights (Ridderzaal) in The Hague where the States General will meet. Look here.

More on the histroy of the Hall of Knights, from wikipedia:


The Ridderzaal (Knights' Hall) is the main building at the Binnenhof in The Hague, The Netherlands, which is used for the state opening of Parliament on the third Tuesday in September, Prinsjesdag, when the Dutch monarch drives to Parliament in the Golden Carriage and delivers the speech from the throne. It also used for official royal receptions, and interparliamentary conferences.

Floris IV, Count of Holland, bought in the 13th century a piece of land next to a small lake to build a house on. The Ridderzaal, the manorial hall of Floris V, grandson of Floris IV, was built on this estate by Gerard van Leiden in the 13e century. Over the centuries, the government buildings developed around this lake and incorporated the Ridderzaal. From the early 17th century, the Ridderzaal became an important trading place for booksellers, as Westminster Hall was in London. In later centuries served a variety of purposes - as a market hall, a promenade, a drill hall, a public record office, a hospital ward, even the offices of the state lottery. It was restored between 1898 and 1904 to serve its present purposes.

This large Gothic hall (40m/130ft by 20m/65ft) has magnificent stained glass windows depicting the coats of arms of Dutch towns; particularly fine is the rose window with the arms of the principal noble families of the Netherlands. The heavy timber roof structure with its 18m/60ft long beams has the appearance of an upturned ship. Wooden heads symbolizing eavesdroppers from the higher powers are supposed to deter members of the assembly from lying.

The throne in the Ridderzaal was designed by Pierre Cuypers

lucien 09-15-2008 04:07 PM

ANP Beeldbank

courtesy Robin Utrecht.

sgl 09-15-2008 06:04 PM

This photo is hilarious! Thanks for the link, Marengo.
ANP Beeldbank

marmi 09-15-2008 08:09 PM

Yes it is rather isnt it?! LOL.

Her_Majesty 09-16-2008 06:33 AM


Margriet wears a blue dress and a feather hatpiece.
Laurentien wears some strange looking beige coat-dress.
Beatrix wears gray/beige and Máxima wears purple and a normal hat.

Her_Majesty 09-16-2008 07:21 AM


Queen Beatrix
Queen Beatrix
She looks great today.

Arrival of the Royal Family


Madame Royale 09-16-2008 07:45 AM

I wish the Danes celebrated their Opening of Parliament in such a fashion.

Always a treat to view such pictures. Thank you.

Her_Majesty 09-16-2008 08:22 AM

PPE Agency

Madame Royale 09-16-2008 08:36 AM

Maxima looks lovely.

carlota 09-16-2008 08:44 AM

that's a nice dress for maxima, but i think she had nicer prinsjesdag gowns. it's definitely not my favourite, i think it looks way too informal given the situation.

chaimae 09-16-2008 09:41 AM

maxima looks lovely , but i prefere the dress of the last year, she was fantastic last year . i think the hat is more than normal!!

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