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Abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands: Menu for the diner on 29 April

This was the menu for the dinner hosted by HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands on 29 April 2013. The then Queen abdicated today and is now HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Lobster Tail with a Quenelle of Baeri Caviar. 
Crême Fraîche Lime Sauce

Oxtail Clair

Roast Fillet of Venison with Beech Mushrooms 
Sauce of Rosemary and Thyme

White Asparagus Tips and Runner Beans
Potato Mousseline with fine herbs

Lambada strawberries and limoncello cream
Strawberry meringue
Strawberry coulis


Inauguration King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands: Speech by the King

30 April 2013, Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam

Members of the States General,

Today I stand before this joint session of Parliament to be sworn in and invested as your new King. You have gathered here in the nation's capital for this purpose as the elected representatives of the people. This symbolises our constitutional bonds.

Over the course of two centuries, the Dutch monarchy has become inextricably linked with our parliamentary democracy. This investiture and the oath I am about to take confirm this connection, which is enshrined in the Charter for the Kingdom and the Constitution.

Democracy is based on mutual trust. The people's trust in the government - one that respects the law and offers its citizens prospects for the future. But also the government's trust in the people - citizens who feel a shared responsibility for the public interest and are willing to stand up for one another. All holders of public office, whether they are elected, appointed or designated, must contribute to that trust. That is how democracy is maintained.

In her final Christmas address as Queen, my mother said, 'Achieving mutual trust is an ongoing challenge, both in the big things and the small.' For 33 years, she gave her trust, and repaid the trust placed in her. This provided the basis for her authority. She stood for the values enshrined in the Constitution. Values to which she swore to remain faithful on 30 April 1980. Values to which she gave expression whenever she felt it necessary. After all, the fact that the monarch has no political responsibility does not mean that he or she bears no responsibility at all. That would render meaningless the oath I am about to take in this joint session of the States General.

My dear Mother,

As Queen you were fully conscious of the responsibilities attached to your position. You were utterly dedicated to the duties of your office. But you were also a daughter, a wife, a mother and head of the family. And you have always sought to do full justice to each of those responsibilities. Sometimes you felt torn, but you combined your many duties with great inspiration. You never refused a request for help. Even in times of personal sorrow you supported us all in the most loving and dependable manner.

With the help of my father, you developed your own style as Queen. You never chose the easy path of fleeting popularity. You navigated stormy waters, charting a sure and steady course in the knowledge that you were part of a long tradition.

Now, I follow in your footsteps. And I have a clear picture of my duties. No one knows what the future may hold. But wherever my path leads, and however long it may be, I will always carry with me your warmth and your wisdom.

I know that I speak for many in the Netherlands and in the Caribbean parts of our Kingdom when I say: thank you for all the wonderful years in which you served as our Queen.

Each monarch fulfils his duties in his own fashion. He is a different person from his predecessor, and he is of a different time. The monarchy is not a static institution. Within the bounds of our constitutional rules it has always managed to adapt to changing circumstances. The States General and the ministers have always given the monarch the necessary scope.

At the same time, the monarchy is a symbol of continuity and unity. It is a direct link with our constitutional past. It is a historical tapestry, which together we are still weaving today. The basis for the values we share can be found in our history. One of those values is the monarch's role as servant of the people. The King performs the duties of his office in the service of the community. This deeply rooted principle was laid down by the States General as early as 1581, in the Act of Abjuration, the birth certificate of what would eventually become the Netherlands.

I succeed to the throne at a time when many in the Kingdom feel vulnerable and uncertain. Vulnerable in their jobs or their health. Uncertain about their income or the environment in which they live. It now seems less self-evident that the next generation will be better off than the last.

As individuals, we seem to have little influence over the events that shape our lives. Therefore our power lies not in isolating ourselves but in working together. As families and as friends. As residents of a street or neighbourhood. As citizens of our Kingdom. And as inhabitants of an Earth confronted with countless challenges that can only be met by working together at international level.

Unityanddiversity. Individualityandadaptability. An appreciation of traditionanda healthy curiosity about what the future will bring: these are the qualities which over the centuries have made us who we are today.

Our need to explore frontiers and set new boundaries has taken us a long way. We have five remarkable Dutch individuals here who are symbols of that. Today they fulfil a traditional role,* but they are also living proof of what we are capable of achieving.

Behind them stand hundreds of thousands of others who have each distinguished themselves in their own way. Their efforts are invaluable, too. The hope of our country rests in the combined power of all these people with all their talents, big and small. For centuries, our greatest strengths have been our inventiveness, our diligence and our openness. With such qualities, we have a great deal to offer the world.

As King, I want to encourage people to make active use of their opportunities. However great our diversity, however different our beliefs or dreams, and however varied our backgrounds, in the Kingdom of the Netherlands everyone can have a voice and can contribute to society on an equal footing.

I will take pride in representing the Kingdom, and in helping to uncover new opportunities. I want to establish ties, make connections and exemplify what unites us, the Dutch people, and not only in times of great joy or deep sorrow. Thus, as King, I can strengthen the bond of mutual trust between the people and their government, maintain our democracy and serve the public interest.

I accept this office with gratitude. I am grateful for the upbringing my parents gave me, and for the freedom I have been given to prepare for this role. Many people have helped show me the way, both in their words and in their deeds, and I would like to thank them all.

Successive governments, with the support of the States General, have given me the opportunity to play a role in various fields and so to undertake many activities both in and on behalf of the Netherlands. This work has given me a sense of what I can contribute in my position. It has also allowed me to gain a deep insight into issues, such as responsible water management, which are fundamental to our country.

My experiences at home and abroad have made me the person I am. I can say with confidence, both to myself and to the world: I accept this office with full conviction. And in doing so, I acknowledge how deeply happy I am to have the support of my wife, Máxima. She is conscious of the personal constraints her position sometimes entails. She has embraced our country and become a Dutchwoman among the Dutch people. She stands ready to apply the full range of her abilities in the service of my reign and the Kingdom at large.        

Members of the States General,

Today, we stand before one another to affirm our mutual responsibilities and obligations. The Charter for the Kingdom and the Constitution are our common foundation. Through good times and bad, let us build on that foundation in the full confidence that together we can face the future with our heads held high.

With that conviction, I aim to fulfil my duties as King with all the strength I am granted.

I swear to the peoples of the Kingdom that I shall constantly preserve and uphold the Charter for the Kingdom and the Constitution.

I swear that I shall defend and preserve the independence and the territory of the Kingdom to the best of My ability; that I shall protect the freedoms and rights of all its citizens and residents, and shall employ all means placed at My disposal by the law to support and promote the Kingdom's welfare, as is incumbent upon a good and faithful King.

So help Me God!

Source: RVD

Inauguration King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands

The inauguration of HM King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has just taken place at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.

King Willem-Alexander wore a suit with the"Koningsmantel". As decoration HM wears the Order Ribbon and Plaque (or Breast Star) from "Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Willem", as well as the following

Grand Cross of the Order of the Dutch Lion
Knight of the House Order of the Golden Lion of Nassau

Inauguration Medal 1980
Marriage Medal 2002

Knight of the Order of Johaniter of the Netherlands
Elfsteden Cross
Knight of the Order of the Oak Crown of Luxembourg

HM Queen Máxima wore a robe and cape in the color "Royal Blue" with a base of crepe which a thin layer of chiffon. The robe has a thin layer of chiffon and is richly embroidered. The cape is accentuating length and has a suggestive sleeve insert. The interplay of crepe and chiffon is covering this but is transparent. Queen Máxima wore the ribbon and star of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Dutch Lion.

Queen Máxima also wears a gold Tiara which was given by HM King Willem II to HM Queen Emma, Princess of Waldeck-Pyrmont. The design of the tiara of Oscar Massin dates 1867. The tiara consists of old cut diamonds with blue sapphires. The removable center sapphire is an heirloom of HM Queen Anna Pavlovna, Grand Duchess of Russia.

HQ picture:
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Abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands: The balcony scene

Following the signing of the Act of Abdication, TM King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands appeared on the balcony. The were later joined by HRH the Princess of Orange, HRH Princess Alexia and HRH Princess Ariane.

HQ pictures:

Source: ANP


© ANP; foto: Jeroen van der Meyde

Abdication of Queen Beatrix: Deed of Abdication

Bron: RVD

HQ picture:

Source: RVD

Text in Dutch:

Heden, dertig april MMXIII om tien uur in de ochtend, heb ik,


Koningin der Nederlanden, Prinses van Oranje-Nassau, enz. enz. enz., in aanwezigheid van mijn oudste zoon, de Prins van Oranje, en zijn echtgenote, in het Koninklijk Paleis te Amsterdam bijeengeroepen de voorzitters van de beide Kamers der Staten-Generaal, de ministers van het Koninkrijk, de vice-president van de Raad van State van het Koninkrijk, de leden van de deputaties uit Aruba, Curaçao en Sint Maarten, de commissaris van de Koningin in de provincie Noord-Holland, de burgemeester van Amsterdam en de directeur van het Kabinet der Koningin, om in hun tegenwoordigheid met een plechtige verklaring uitvoering te geven aan het door mij op achtentwintig januari jongstleden meegedeelde voornemen afstand te doen van het koningschap.

Ik verklaar dat ik thans afstand doe van het koningschap van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden, welk koningschap van dit moment af overgaat op mijn oudste zoon en opvolger,


Prins van Oranje, overeenkomstig de bepalingen van het Statuut en de Grondwet voor het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden.

Deze verklaring, met mijn handtekening bekrachtigd en ondertekend door mijn oudste zoon en zijn echtgenote, alsmede door alle autoriteiten thans door mij bijeengeroepen en hier aanwezig, zal in het archief van het Kabinet van de Koning worden bewaard, nadat deze van het Grootzegel van het Koninkrijk is voorzien.

Authentieke afschriften zullen worden gezonden aan de beide Kamers der Staten-Generaal, aan de Raad van State van het Koninkrijk en aan de Staten van Aruba, Curaçao en Sint Maarten.

Source: RVD

First official (formal) pictures of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

The RVD has released the first official formal pictures of TM King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.
© RVD, picture: Koos Breukel

© RVD, picture: Koos Breukel
HQ pictures:
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© RVD, pictures: Koos Breukel

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands signs the Act of Abdication: The Netherlands has a new King

HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has just signed the Act of Abdication. This means that the Prince of Orange has just become King of the Netherlands. His daughter, Princess Amalia, is the new Princess of Orange.

The former Queen is now styled/titled HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Queen Máxima wore a dress from Nathan.

HQ picture:
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Abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands: Farewell speech

A (farewell) speech by HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was broadcasted today.

On the eve of my abdication, I would like to take this opportunity to address you all. Unity and freedom have traditionally been the driving forces shaping our country's constitutional order. In years of struggle and revolt against foreign domination, the words of the Wilhelmus were a source of hope and encouragement:
"I dedicate undying faith to this land of mine"
Since that time, the unconditional loyalty of the founding father of our country has also been demonstrated by all those who have fought for our freedom. To this day, this loyalty forms the bedrock of our country's history, which is closely connected with the House of Orange.

From 1890 onwards, our national unity was inextricably linked with four female heads of state. After Queen Regent Emma, after my grandmother Wilhelmina - so valiant in wartime - and after my mother Juliana, with her strong sense of duty, the task and privilege of being your Queen fell to me. The unifying power shown by previous generations was my inspiration. In our constitutional monarchy, with the Constitution as our foundation, the monarch stands for unity in the service of a constantly changing society.

At the investiture, in the presence of the States General, the monarch swears to uphold the Constitution and protect the rights and freedoms of all the inhabitants of the Kingdom. The converse of ministerial responsibility for the acts of the monarch is the duty of the monarch - within the government - to coordinate his actions with the ministers. Democratically enacted laws and decrees are ratified by the monarch's signature. In day-to-day life, the monarch can contribute to respect for democracy, to solidarity within society and to integration and personal development for all sections of the population. This calls for full and unconditional dedication to what - sooner or later, to a greater or lesser degree - presents itself as the common interest of our society. Neither power, nor personal will, nor a claim to inherited authority, but solely the determination to serve the community can give substance to today's monarchy.

In fulfilling this task, the monarchy aims to foster a community whose members feel solidarity with one another. Throughout the last thirty-three years I have had the privilege of meeting great numbers of my compatriots who put themselves at the service of other people, demonstrate their commitment and are willing to do their utmost for their country. I have seen what creative effort and perseverance can accomplish, in the most diverse circumstances. Over the years, my appreciation of people's impressive achievements in science, art and culture has grown immensely. Scope for self-expression and exploration of new avenues are of vital importance for us all. The way people of different beliefs or convictions seek to draw closer to one other has touched me deeply, also because it is a sign of openness and tolerance.

In all this, the great trust you placed in me was indispensable. I have shared both joy and national pride with you. And I have shared in your sorrow and anxiety. The population of the Netherlands in Europe and in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom have strengthened me with their spontaneous warmth and expressions of solidarity. Beyond our borders too, international contacts proved their worth in furthering mutual understanding. The vicissitudes of the world touch our daily lives. Countless ties bind us to people in other continents. This compels us to remain open to other ways of life and other cultures.

A divided Europe long bore the scars of a past marked by war and violence. Today, peaceful cooperation and an awareness of common interests prevail. Decisions made by the European Union determine our daily life where this is necessary or useful. Our own self-interest obliges us to contribute to the common interest and to the wider perspective of a shared responsibility in the world.

In all this, I had the great good fortune to be able to count on the support of Prince Claus. His level-headed insights and nuanced approach were of great value to me. Through his work in the fields of urban planning, the environment, development cooperation and culture, he focused attention on crucial social issues. He taught our sons, when they were still very young, to be alert to developments in society and to suffering and need in the world. In this way, he brought our House closer to modern times. History may indeed conclude that my choice of husband was the best decision I ever made.

Since I announced my intention to relinquish the throne, I have been overwhelmed by expressions of warmth and kindness, accompanied by a profound understanding of my wish to hand over my task to the Prince of Orange. He is well prepared for every aspect of his new role, through his intensive activities at national and international level and his keen interest in the developments taking place in our world today. During the ceremonial investiture in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, King Willem-Alexander will accept the imperative that is essential to the office: to act without regard to personal preference, and to stand above the interest of party or group. In fulfilling his task, he will ask for the support and trust of the Dutch people. We all feel blessed by the fact that his endearing wife Máxima, with her warm heart and clear understanding of human relations, will play a special role.

In laying down my duties as Queen, I am above all filled with a sense of deep gratitude. Without your heart-warming and encouraging expressions of regard, the burdens of office - and they have certainly made themselves felt - would have been very heavy indeed. I would like to let you know, in saying farewell, that your affection has given me the strength I needed. In the future too, your continuing closeness will remain a great support.

When tomorrow my eldest son assumes this rewarding and responsible task, it is my dearest wish that the new Royal couple will also feel supported by your loving trust. I am convinced that Willem-Alexander will devote himself, with loyalty and dedication, to discharging his duties as a good King should.

Source: RVD

Abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands: Dinner at the Rijksmuseum

HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is currently hosting a dinner at the Rijksmuseum on occasion of her abdication tomorrow. The dinner took place in the Gallery of Honour.

HQ pictures:
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Source: ANP

Present are among others:
-  HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
- TRH the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, - HRH Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau. - TRH Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Prince and Princess of Orange-Nassau.
- HRH Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau.
- HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, and Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven.
- HRH Princess Christina of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau.
- HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
- HRH Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco.
- HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Misned of Qatar.
- TRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles and Camilla, Princess Charles of England.
- HIH Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan.
- TRH Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Count and Countess of Monpezat.
- TRH the Duke and Duchess of Brabant, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Countess d'Udekem d'Acoz.
- TRH the Prince and Princess of Asturias, Prince Felipe and Doña Letizia of Spain.
- TRH Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway.
- TRH Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden, Duchess and Duke of Västergötland.
- TRH Crown Prince Billah and Princess Sarah of Brunei.
- HRH Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa of Bahrain.
- TRH Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg, Prince and Princess of Luxembourg, Prince and Princess of Nassau, Prince and Princess of Bourbon-Parma, Countess of Lanoy.
- HSH Hereditary Prince Alois and HRH Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein, Princess of Bavaria, Duchess in Bavaria.
- HRH Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa of Bahrain.
- HRH Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn of Thailand.
- HRH Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand.
- TRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal and Princess Sarvath El Hassan of Jordan.

The Prince of Orange and family attend rehearsal for inauguration

TRH the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands and their daughters, HRH Princess Amalia, HRH Princess Alexia and HRH Princess Ariane of the Netherlands, attended a rehearsal for the inauguration tomorrow.

The future King and Queen and their daughters also payed a visit to André Rieu, the orchestra of André Rieu and the Children's Choir. André Rieu, his orchestra and the Children's Chois will perform tomorrow.

HQ picture:

Source: RVD


The Prince of Orange inspects final Guard of Honor at the Eikenhorst

HRH the Prince of Orange has inspected the Guard of Honor at his home, the Eikenhorst, for the last time today, 27 April 2013. The Prince of Orange has inspected the Guard of Honor at his home for the last 32 years at his birthday.

HQ picture: 

Source: RVD

New official picture Princess Madeleine of Sweden

HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, has posted a new picture of herself at her official Facebookpage.

Click HERE to view the picture at the Facebookpage of the Princess.

Engagement of Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Kendra Spears announced

The engagement between Prince Rahim Aga Khan, the oldest son of HH the Aga Khan, and Kendra Spears was announced on 26 April 2013. A gallery with 6 official pictures of the engaged couple can be found HERE.

The following statement was released.

Aiglemont, France, 26 April 2013 -- His Highness the Aga Khan today announced the engagement of his eldest son, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, to Ms. Kendra Spears of Seattle, Washington, the United States.  
The Aga Khan, who is the Spiritual Leader or Imam of the global community of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, said he was delighted to announce the engagement.  
Prince Rahim Aga Khan holds a BA from Brown University and an executive management degree from the Navarra Business School in Barcelona, Spain. He is involved in the poverty reduction efforts, notably micro-credit activities, of the Aga Khan Development Network – one of the largest private systems of agencies fostering social, cultural and economic development in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.  
Ms. Spears holds a BA in sociology from the University of Washington in her native Seattle. She has a strong interest in arts and architecture. Ms. Spears has had a highly successful career as a model, working with many of the most prestigious fashion houses.
The couple will be married in a Muslim ceremony. The date of the marriage has not been set yet.
Source: www.akdn.org

New official pictures of Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Estelle of Sweden

The Swedish Royal Court released new official pictures of HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland, and her daughter, HRH Princess Estelle of Sweden, Duchess of Östergötland.

HQ pictures:
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Source: Kate Gabor/Kungahuset.se

Wedding M&C: Scheduled activities

Source: Ewa-Marie Rudquist; kungehuset.se; photoshop: Current Royal news
The Swedish Royal Court has released the schedule of the events surrounding the wedding of HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, and Christopher O'Neill.

Friday, 7 June 2013:
- Private Dinner for guests at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm.
Hosts: TM King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

Saturday, 8 June 2013:
- 16:00 Start of the wedding ceremony.
- After the ceremony 21 cannon shots will be fired.
- The bridal couple will depart by coach to the Royal Palace in Riddarholmen.
- The bride and groom and their guests sail to Drottningholm Palace for dinner.
- Gala Banquet in Drottningholm Palace.
Hosts: TM King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden.


Deeds of Abdication - Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Juliana of the Netherlands

Abdication of HM Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands: Deed of Abdication, 1948

Abdicatie Koningin Wilhelmina
© Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Kabinet der Koningin Verbaalarchief, 1976-1988, nummer toegang 2.02.30, inventarisnummer 13999

Abdication of HM Queen Juliana of the Netherlands: Deed of Abdication, 1980

Abdicatie Koningin Juliana
© Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Kabinet der Koningin Verbaalarchief, 1976-1988, nummer toegang 2.02.30, inventarisnummer 13999

HQ pictures:
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© Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Kabinet der Koningin Verbaalarchief, 1976-1988, nummer toegang 2.02.30, inventarisnummer 13999

Inauguration Queen Juliana of the Netherlands

Inhuldiging Koningin Juliana 2
© Koninklijk Huisarchief
Inhuldiging Koningin Juliana
© Koninklijk Huisarchief

HQ pictures:
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© Koninklijk Huisarchief


Last weekly conversation between Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Prime Minister Mark Rutte

The RVD has released a picture of the last weekly conversation between HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Huis ten Bosch Palace on 22 April 2013.

HQ picture:

© RVD, picture: Frank van Beek