House of Orange-Nassau
Published: 01 May 2013 Modified: 06 May 2013
The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy. After three consecutive queens, King Willem Alexander is the first king of the Netherlands for over a century. He succeeded his mother, Princess Beatrix, who abdicated in his favor on 30 April 2013.
The King works in The Hague. Noordeinde Palace serves as the King's working quarters, where each week he receives in audience the heads of foreign diplomatic missions to the Netherlands, when they come to present their letters of credence (geloofsbrieven) or take their leave. King Willem Alexander lives with his family in Wassenaar.
Each year on the third Tuesday in September, the King reads the Speech from the Throne in the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights) in the Binnenhof in The Hague, in the presence of both the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament. This annual speech provides an overview of the government policy for the coming year. The annual event, known as Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day), is celebrated with great pomp and circumstance with the King travelling from Noordeinde Palace to the Ridderzaal under ceremonial escort in a special golden coach drawn by eight horses.
- History of the Dutch Royal Family
The monarchy stems from 1815 when, after the Napoleonic period, the Kingdom of the Netherlands was established and the House of Orange-Nassau became the reigning dynasty.
- A Royal City
Stroll through the heart of The Hague’s old city centre you’ll feel something regal in the air.
- Dutch Royal Successors
After the rule of King William I, William II and William III in the 19th century, Queen Wilhelmina, grandmother of Queen Beatrix, became the first woman to ascend the throne in 1898.
- Royal pomp and ceremony
Each week on Wednesday H.M. Queen Beatrix receives in audience the heads of foreign diplomatic missions to the Netherlands, when they come to present their letters of credence at Noordeinde Palace.
The King's eldest daughter, Catharina-Amalia (2003) is the crown princess and has now the title of Princess of Orange.
More information: The Dutch Royal House.
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