I remember the first time it occurred to me that I was under the rule of a monarch. It was an educational tour of the United Kingdom when I finished university, and as an American born in the USA…well, it just felt wrong.
Nowadays though I’ve found a new appreciation for the pomp and circumstance. I have great admiration for Queen Elizabeth, and there is definitely a certain character and pride preserved in holding onto these traditions.
Thus, for someone like me, the invitation to Prinsjesdag is a once in a lifetime event. Sure, next year I can stand by the parade route as the King’s Golden Carriage takes him to Parliament, but this year I will be with the dignitaries…or are we VIP’s, or….well whatever my husband and my section of attenders is called. I think we will actually visit Parliament and see the King give his speech. I’ll write more about that when I find out.
One of the traditions of Prince’s Day is the procession by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima in the Golden Coach from Noordeinde Palace to the Ridderzaal, where the King reads the Speech from the Throne.
Online you’ll see Prinsjesdag translated as Prince’s Day although a quick trip to google translate gives you “Budget Day” instead. Both seem to be correct. The Head of State in the Netherlands is the currently enthroned royal, and the speech being given is for the government’s budget which was trimmed into ship-shape over the last three weeks to be ready for the Big Day.
Since my birthday was earlier this month and this really is a very special occasion…I decided to splurge on new outfit clothes. Nothing in my current wardrobe seemed quite up to snuff. Thus I set my own budget and hit the concourse.
Part 2 – The Shopping.
Kristin King is an author, publisher and US expat living in the Netherlands. She looks forward to playing her very little part in the 2015 Prinsjesdag.