CIVIL WEDDING

Town Hall, Delft, April 24, 2004

Speech of the Mayor of Delft, Mr Hein M.C.M. van Oorschot

Bride and groom,
Majesty,
Mother of the bride,
Your Majesty,
Your Highness,
Family members of the bride and groom,
Prime Minister,
Excellencies,
Friends of bride and groom,
Honoured guests,

(in English) As mayor of Delft, I welcome you all to our city to celebrate the wedding of Miss Mabel Wisse Smit and His Royal Highness Prince Johan Friso. In my special capacity as registrar, I welcome you to the civil part of that celebration here in Delft City Hall. I hope the foreign guests will understand that I continue in Dutch.

(in Dutch) Ladies and Gentlemen,
If we would have lived between 1533 and 1584 today we would have celebrated the birthday of William of Orange. And how closer we would have come to 1584, how bigger the chance had been, that we would have done that in Delft. You of course wonder now if that is the reason that today we solemnize the wedding of these two young people. The answer to this question is ‘no’.
Delft was chosen by the bridal couple, because they both have something with this beautiful city.
Therefore it is an even bigger joy for the society of Delft, that you with us are going to celebrate such an important event in your life. It is nice for Delft to be able to be linked with this moment of big happiness, also because sometimes we are unbreakably linked with sadness in the Royal Family.
For both of you your wedding is the marking of an emotional period. In the first place I then of course aim at the emotion of your love for each other. That emotion today gets a confirmation in front of the guests here, multiple of them in the church, people on the street, who look out for you and an even bigger amount, that watches your wedding via the television.
It is also the marking of the closing of an emotional period. Therewith I aim at the feelings of grief and impotence, you have had in the period up to this beautiful day. Those feelings made painfully clear how much public people can become the object of social attention and sometimes of a media-hunt. And that is even more difficult for who can’t deny then. I wish you a future with lots of privacy.
I already said, for both of you Delft is a special place. For the bride that started already early in her life. She remembers as a young girl Delft and the elevator in the building of electro-technics where her father got his diploma. Do you see her skip on our beautiful canals? Probably with pigtails and hopefully with a pearl earring. Because that is what special girls tend to carry in Delft. For you, groom, it are especially your college days, that connects you with Delft. College days you completely could experience with everything connected with it and in which you were six long years Delftenaar (inhabitant of Delft) between the Delftenaren, student between the students. You say about it, that you really felt at home here. That feeling is still there and nothing else is possible, as for engineers of the Technische Universiteit Delft (Technical University Delft) the adagium ‘once a Delftenaar, for ever a Delftenaar’ applies. From your mother I understood once, that your big talent for exact sciences is extraordinary in your family. Here in Delft we have thus been lucky with you.
You intend to settle down in London together and both work from there. There you start a housekeeping together and the bride finishes her what she calls ‘life from a trunk;. You both look very much out to it and if you speak about it I hear, that you will find happiness in it. By the way in the first place you have to do that together and that means, that you also have to put in both of you separate.
For lots of what is expected in both your positions from you, London is a very good starting point. Who like the groom works in the aviation and space industry at the TNO in Delft, has minimum the world as working area. As far as I know this is pretty well reachable from London although that also often goes via Schiphol, I have been told.
For the bride her work as director European Union for the OSI (the Open Society Institute) in its kind also international. Your work among others is aimed at strengthening of the freedom of journalism in the world and in fighting AIDS. Your work is of huge importance for the development of welfare, democracy and human rights. I hope you will continue it with the same energy.
But this all doesn’t alter the fact that you and especially the groom also will be in Delft from time to time. In your lost hour you can always ring at this house. Then a cup of thee with an Oude Jan-Koekje (old John cookie) or something else will be ready for you.

Bride and groom,
When I met you, you said, that you loved to work on this wedding together and growing on to this day. I have seen, although from a distance, that you have done that with huge enthusiasm and besides, although from a distance, I have learnt to know you as nice, interesting and intelligent people. Besides I also saw how you deal with each other, support each other and enjoy each other. For me it is then also an honour to be able to solemnize your civil wedding. I therefore now want to pass to that and I request bride and groom to stand up and give each other the right hand and to answer the question I am now asking you with a clear ‘yes’.
Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David, Prince of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg, do you declare to take as your wife:
Mabel Martine Wisse Smit
And do you pledge to fulfil all the duties legally connected with the state of matrimony?
What is your answer?
Friso: ‘Yes’
Mabel Martine Wisse Smit
do you declare to take as your husband:
Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David, Prince of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg
And do you pledge to fulfil all the duties legally connected with the state of matrimony?
What is your answer?
Mabel: ‘Yes’
Then as registrar of the registrar’s office of the Municipality of Delft I declare that you are joined together in matrimony as husband and wife.
Bride and groom, Prince Johan Friso and Princess Mabel,
I am in the position to congratulate you with your wedding first. In these congratulations I of course involve both mothers, brothers, sisters and sisters-in-law and other family members and actually all of you, honoured guests. Today the sun shines. Today music is played. Today you will be placed in the middle of your circle of family and friends and being cherished. I wish you that for the rest of your life. I wish you a wonderful life together with lots of happiness and lots of love.
And then we go on to the signing of the marriage certificates. Finally I may present you a wedding present in name of Delft. We have decided, that it should be a very Delfts present. It is a so-called candy-set (confiture-set) made by the Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles (Royal Porcelain Bottle) after a design from the 17th century. It has been taken into production again as a jubilee piece at the 350th anniversary of this royal company in 2003. Now I am not sure if you like jam very much, but nine sorts of jam (and so many dishes there are) on the table looks a bit too much. To your reassurance, such a set was used especially to serve a rice-table in and is also very suitable for that.
We have the original plastic bags if you want to bring the set with you immediately, but if you have already taken care of your dinner tonight, we also can deliver the present at your house. Otherwise it would also look a bit careless under your chair in church.
Of course the set is provided with a fitting decoration also to record this important day in the present.
In name of the society of Delft I want to congratulate you very much once more with your wedding. I wish you a beautiful service in what many find the most beautiful church of Delft.
I wish you a lovely day and finally, a long and happy life together and among all, who are dear to you.