Because of Covid restrictions much was different.
For the 4th time (1945, 1946 and 1974) the monarch came to the meeting by car. For the first time it was not in the Hall of Knights at the Binnenhof but the ceremony was relocated to the great or st James Church in the centre of town.
Ceremonial was limited to only 50 military and 8 riders by bike instead of 2500 military lining the streets and several escorts and 4 carriages.
The thrones and chairs of the Hall of Knights were moved to the church and set up respecting the Covid rules about distance.
HM, prince Constantijn, the grandmaster of the court, the men in the cabinet as well as the chair of the Senate or First Chamber wore morning suits.
The Queen, princess Laurentien and the grandmistress were in long dresses. Maxima and Laurentien both also wearing the ribbon of they highest Dutch order.
Maxima opted for the yellow ruffled dress of Claes Ivensen previously worn for the dinner for the King and Queen of Jordan, Laurentien was in a grey Missoni dress.
There was no appearance on the balcony no carriages and all the ceremony we are used to.
Next year we will hopefully return to the Hall of Knights and the carriages. TM will again be in the Glass Coach in spite of the fact that by that time the Golden Coach will be fully restored.
There has been some controversy about one of the painted side panels of the coach made in 1898. It depicts the tribute of the Kolonies. The fact that it was given one of the two lengths of the coach shows the importance the Kolonies both in the East and the West had for the Kingdom of the Netherlands at that time. Unfortunately there are some people who cannot see someone of colour depicted without considering that degrading or reminding them of slavery.
The king has opposed replacing the panels as he finds that would be messing with Dutch cultural history. He has however not made any clear statements if he will bring the Golden Coach back into use. It's been restored for a considerable amount of money and will first be loaned to the Amsterdam Museum for an exhibition. The coach was a gift of the citizens of Amsterdam to Queen Wilhelmina in 1898 for her investiture. She had to be pushed to accept it as she did not want presents for that event. The exhibition will include explanations of the symbolism used and the background of the coach. There will no doubt be a public discussion about it as well.
In the end it is the monarch who decides if he wants to use the coach again. It is part of the historic foundations of the House of Orange-Nassau.
We could see it return in use for Prinsjesdag 2022 and that would also be the first time the Princess of Orange will attend. She turns 18 in december 2021 so too late for next year's event.
From the age of 18 the Princess of Orange is the person who will have to act as regent in case her father is indisposed and in need of a regency. She will automatically become a member of the State Council and get her annual allowance. Of course that now starts to be a point of discussion as people always think it's a lot of money for an 18 year old but they never act in time to alter the constitution making that she would not have to step up at that young age in case of issues with the King.
« Back to index