I am really looking forward to the investiture of the Prince of Orange as King of the Netherlands on Tuesday. I can’t remember much of 30 April 1980, when his mother Beatrix became our Queen, as I was only 6 1/2 years old. And let’s be honest in about 30 years, when Princess Amalia hopefully will become our Queen, I have become an elderly person I guess.
The Dutch royals had their last official engagements last week, and only Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien have been busy this weekend. Queen Beatrix had her last engagement on 24 April and opened the Huygens exhibition in the “Grote Kerk” in The Hague. Highlight of the exhibition is a replica of the “Oranjezaal” (Orange Hall) at Palace Huis ten Bosch. The chance to have a look at it.
The Prince of Orange yesterday celebrated his last (46th) birthday before becoming a King. He quietly celebrated at home with family and friends. Some places in the Netherlands already celebrated Queen’s Day on that day anyway, because they expect that on Tuesday lots of people will sit in front of their television.
Although there is still no official guestlist, royal guests from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Great Britain, Thailand, Japan and Brunei have already announced they are coming to Amsterdam on the 29th and 30th of April. No heads of state though, as they are traditionally not invited for an investiture in the Netherlands. However rumours are that Reigning Prince Albert II of Monaco is coming after all. He knows the new King very well, as they both had a seat in the IOC for a long time.
The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima on 26 April opened the King’s Games, the start of the 30 April activities. Despite of the rainy and cold weather the day was a huge success. More than 1,3 million children from primary schools in the Netherlands and the Caribic part of the Kingdom took part in the sporty day. The day however started with a festive breakfast in the schools. For the video of the opening see here.
The King’s Song
It was such a wonderful idea to have the Dutch write down their dreams for the country online. And from these dreams known songwriters were going to make a song, that is to be sung at 7.30pm by all Dutch for the new King and Queen. But when the song finally was there just over a week ago, it was highly criticized. The person who was one of the songwriters, and composed the music, John Ewbank, even withdrew his song. But luckily it was decided on Monday the song would come back. What would the start of the Royal Boat Tour be without the song! At least the music sounds great, and you really get used to the rap parts if you listed to it more often. I must agree with the critics that the Dutch in the songtext is not really great Dutch. But isn’t that often the case with songtexts? And the text is really not easy to sing along, I must admit, certainly not for such a bad singer as I am. But I’ll print the text and try to sing anyway when I get the chance. For all the people who still think most of the other songs were better: we’re supposed to sing about the new King, and not about his wife or his mother, and to be honest most songs were written about them. The official King’s song with lyrics to practise can be found here.
The big interview with the future King and Queen of the Netherlands on 17 May was quite interesting and can still be seen here.
On Friday a short interview with Renée Smith-Röell, the best friend of Queen Beatrix since her early childhood was shown on television. She is also the godmother of the new King Willem-Alexander. See here.
Worth a visit will be the exhibition “Ingehuldigd! De Oranjes en De Nieuwe Kerk” (The Royal Investiture! The family of Orange-Nassau and the Nieuwe Kerk) in the Nieuwe Kerk (new church) in Amsterdam from 11 May to 18 August. The exhibition shows the investitures of all seven Dutch monarchs of the House of Orange-Nassau. The church will already open its doors on 1 (2pm-10pm) and 2 May (10am-10pm), when you can have a look at the flower decoration in church.
However the regalia (sceptre, orb, sword of state and the national standard), the royal mantle, the attire of the new King, the dress of the new Queen, and the “thrones” will be on display in an exhibition at Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn from 7 May to 16 June 2013. The palace especially opens it doors until 6pm instead of 5pm during that period.