Every year, on the third Tuesday in September, The Netherlands celebrates Prince's Day (Prinsjesdag). This day signals the start of the Dutch parliamentary year. Queen Beatrix, Head of State, delivers the “Speech from the Throne” ( De Troonrede) before a joint meeting of both chambers of parliament, members of the cabinet, the Council of State and other invited guests. The Speech sets out the main features of government policy for the coming parliamentary session.
The occasion of Prince's Day is written in article 65 of the Dutch Constitution which states:
'A statement of the policy to be pursued by the Government shall be given by or on behalf of the King before a joint session of the two Houses of the States-General that shall be held every year on the third Tuesday in September or on such earlier date as may be prescribed by Act of Parliament.'
This afternoon, some of our colleagues watched and took pictures of the procession as the Queen rode a golden horse-drawn carriage from the Noordeinde Palace to the Hall of Knights ( De Ridderzaal) in the Binnenhof, the seat of the Dutch parliament in The Hague.
Images by D. Zwaagstra
A selection of relevant publications from the Peace Palace Library collection
Kuile, B.H. ter., Hoe ver ligt Den Haag nog van Brussel : bespiegelingen op Prinsjesdag over slinkende bevoegdheden van onze provinciale Staten-Generaal binnen de Europese Gemeenschap, Den Haag: Wolters Kluwer Rechtswetenschappen, 1989