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Princess of Orange's First Opening of Parliament's Appearance Overshadowed by Protesters

Princess Catharina-Amalia attends first Opening of Parliament

On September 20, 2022, Princess Catharina-Amalia, the Princess of Orange accompanied her parents, King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands, and Queen Maxima, to the Opening of Parliament. However, her Prinsjesdag debut was overshadowed by street protests.

The Opening of Parliament in The Netherlands is known as Prinsjesdag or Prince's Day. During Prinsjesdag, the King and his family travel in the Glass Coach through a royal procession in The Hague. 

King Willem-Alexander attends Prince's Day
King Willem-Alexander delivers a speech, with Queen Maxima at his side
King Willem-Alexander attends Prince's Day

This year, however, the King's Speech was delivered at the Royal Theater rather than at the Hall of the Knights. The King's Speech, also known as the Throne Speech outlines the government’s key plans for the year ahead.

Protesters went out to the street

Princess Catharina-Amalia, the heir-apparent to the Dutch throne, joined her parents in the traditional carriage ride in the Glass Coach, but the royal procession was met with loud protest in the street. As the princess and her parents waved to the crowd and smiled at the cheering fans, protesters shouted "traitors!".

Prinsjesdag or Prince's Day
Royal procession during Prince's Day

Farmers were reportedly holding the Dutch flag upside down and booed loudly as the carriage procession passed by. The farmers' anger was due to the government’s nitrogen plans for months. 

The King, however, acknowledged this growing distrust of the general population towards the government in his speech.  "It is worrying that people in a mature democracy are losing faith in government," he said.

Prinsjesdag or Prince's Day
Royal procession during Prince's Day

The Dutch royals tried to ignore the protests and the boos and just continued waving to the cheering crowds. It was the first time that the Princess of Orange, 18, joined her parents for this important ceremonial event of the year. 

The university freshman heir to the throne looked unbothered by the protesters' shouting and booing and just went ahead with the day, giving her best smile to the adoring crowd. Also in attendance during the Prince's Day were the king's only surviving sibling, Prince Constantijn, and his wife, Princess Laurentien.

Princess of Orange attends first opening of parliament
Queen Maxima and her daughter, the Princess of Orange in a glass coach

Princess of Orange attends first opening of parliament

Prince's Day is an important royal event of the year in The Netherlands. It is usually marked with a royal procession, attended by key members of the House of Orange-Nassau, officers of the Royal Household wearing royal livery, mounted police, a band and various army units. Senior members of the Dutch royal family attending Prince's Day are usually transported in horse-drawn carriages during the procession. 

The Princess of Orange stepped out form the glass coach

However, unlike in the United Kingdom where the female monarch donned a state diadem and if the monarch is male, donned a military uniform decorated with military honors, during the Opening of the Parliament, in The Netherlands, the King only wore a morning suit, and the female royals in attendance only donned a blue sash that represents the House of Orange-Nassau.

Princess of Orange attends first opening of parliament

Princess of Orange attends first opening of parliament

On September 20, the King and his royal company left Noordeinde Palace for Royal Schouwburg where His Majesty delivered his Throne Speech. After the Throne Speech, the royal family traveled back to Noordeinde Palace for the traditional balcony appearance. And while waving to the cheering crowd below, protesters booed. The royals seemed unfazed and gave the king's subjects their appreciation.

Princess of Orange attends first opening of parliament
From left: Princess Amalia, The King and Queen, Prince Constantijn, and Princess Laurentien

First Appearance of the Princess of Orange

Despite being overshadowed by the presence of protesters, Princess Catharina-Amalia's debut at the Opening of the Parliament was a blast. She looked so regal in a forest green ensemble from ASOS, a drape maxi dress with a wrap waist. She accessorized her outfit with a hat that previously worn by Queen Maxima. 

Princess of Orange attends first opening of parliament
The Princess of Orange dazzles in emerald during Budget Day appearance

She also dazzled in sparkling emeralds! Princess Catharine-Amalia borrowed the pair of emerald studs from her mother, while her emerald choker and bracelet came from the Dutch royal jewelry collection. She also wore an oval-shaped emerald ring. 

Princess of Orange attends first opening of parliament
The Princess of Orange looked resplendent in emeralds!

Princess of Orange attends first opening of parliament

Princess Catharina-Amalia, who is starting her university studies this year, after taking a gap year, is slowly coming out so full of confidence. She's beginning to carve her own identity in the royal fashion world with her choices of outfits and accessories. 

Meanwhile, Queen Maxima wore a wrap gray dress with exquisite collar detail from Benchellal, which she accessorized with a matching gray hat and a pair of Gianvito Rossi gray suede pumps. 

Budget Day or Prinsjesdag

So what is Prinsjesdag or Prince's Day? In The Netherlands, it's the day the government presents its budget to a legislature for approval, in a ceremonial fashion. It also officially opens the parliamentary year.

Princess of Orange attends first opening of parliament
From left: The Princess of Orange, Queen Maxima, His Majesty The King, Princess Laurentien, Prince Constantijn of Orange-Nassau

Princess of Orange attends first opening of parliament
The Princess of Orange in emerald fashion

Every year, on the third Tuesday of September, The Hague hosts a key date in the Dutch political calendar, as the government announces the budget for the coming year. 

King Willem-Alexander will address a joint session of the States-General of the Netherlands, which consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and gave a Speech from the Throne. 

This speech set out the policies for the coming parliamentary session. As the heir to the throne, Princess Catharine-Amalia, turned 18 years old last December 2021, she is expected to attend Prinsjesdag from now on.

Princess of Orange attends first opening of parliament
Princess Catharina-Amalia and her mother
Princess Catharina-Amalia attends first Opening of Parliament

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander officially opens the next Dutch parliamentary season. And he traditionally delivers a Throne Speech during this significant day from the Royal Schouwburg.

This year, just like most nations in the world, cost of living has impacted by the war in Ukraine, and The Netherlands is no exception. The Dutch government plans an unprecedented package of measures to restore purchasing power.

Princess Catharina-Amalia attends first Opening of Parliament

In his Throne Speech, His Majesty emphasized how troubling it was when he found out that an increasing number of people were struggling to pay their bills, adding that everyone was living "in a time of contradictions and uncertainties." 

King Willem-Alexander also addressed the growing feelings of distrust amongst the general population, specifically in regard to the Dutch government and political system. "It is worrying that people in a mature democracy are losing faith in government," he said. 

The King also mentioned a number of the social and environmental limits that "our current way of life" continued to face, namely the housing shortage, the childcare benefits scandal, the ongoing fall in purchasing power, and the lack of accommodation for refugees.

Princess Catharina-Amalia began taking official royal duty when she turned 18 last December 2021. Her presence will become more visible now that she's an adult. Next spring, it is reported that she will accompany her parents for an official visit to the Caribbean territories of the Kingdom of The Netherlands.

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