Dutch Royals Attend Prince's Day 2023 Amidst Tension in The Dutch Government

Dutch royals at Prince's Day 2023

Known as Prinsjesdag in Dutch, Prince's Day, previously called "Budget Day", is held every year in The Hague, Netherlands on the third Tuesday of September. It marks the Opening of the Dutch Parliamentary Year.

During this day, the reigning Dutch monarch will deliver a speech from the throne, this time from the Royal Theater in The Hague, containing the message and plans of the Dutch government for the following year.

Dutch royals at Prince's Day 2023
The King and Queen and The Princess of Orange

Dutch royals at Prince's Day 2023
Princess Alexia attends Prince's Day for the first time

Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands, accompanied by their eldest daughter, Catharina-Amalia, the Princess of Orange, rode in a Glass Carriage from Palace Noordeinde to the Royal Theater, while their second daughter, Princess Alexia, rode in another horse-drawn carriage with her uncle, Prince Constantijn, and his wife, Princess Laurentien. 

Dutch royals at Prince's Day 2023
Princess Alexia attends Prince's Day 2023

Princess Alexia attended the Prince's Day for the first time. She just turned 18 this year, and thus, expected to begin performing royal duties and gracing official public events such as the Opening of Parliament. 

Dutch royals at Prince's Day 2023
His Majesty and his daughter and heir

However, this year's Prince's Day is marked by a crisis in Dutch politics after the coalition government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte collapsed on July 7, 2023, following a dispute on migration policies.

Rutte had been in power since 2010. He is the longest-serving prime minister of The Netherlands. The crisis in his government came after his conservative VVD party sought to limit the flow of asylum seekers to the Netherlands.

Dutch royals at Prince's Day 2023
Queen Maxima, King Willem-Alexander, and Princess Catharina-Amalia

Tensions came when Rutte demanded support for a proposal to limit the arrival of children of war refugees who are already in the Netherlands and to make families wait at least two years before they can be reunited.

His proposal met opposition from the small Christian Union and liberal D66, ultimately bringing the government down. He voluntarily offered to step down, clearing the way for new elections in the country in November this year. 

Regarding the collapse of his government, Rutte said "It's no secret that the coalition partners have very different views on migration policy. And today, unfortunately, we have to conclude that those differences are irreconcilable. That's why I will immediately offer the resignation of the entire cabinet to the King in writing".

Prince's Day in The Netherlands 2023
Dutch royals at Prince's Day 2023
The King delivering is speech in the Throne Room. Queen Maxima in his side

As head of state, King Willem-Alexander is expected to ask Rutte's coalition to stay on as a caretaker government until a new administration is formed after the election. Rutte will stay on as a caretaker prime minister until the elections on November 22. 

Prince's Day 2023
Queen Maxima, Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia, and Princess Laurentien
Prince's Day 2023
The Dutch royals from left: The King and Queen, The Princess of Orange, Princess Alexia, Princess Laurentien, and Prince Constantijn. Photo: Reuters

Following the Throne Speech of His Majesty, the royal procession drove back to Noordeinde Palace. The Dutch royals then appeared at the palace balcony to greet the cheering crowd below.

For this year's Prince's Day, Queen Maxima and her daughters looked equally fashionable in their respective designer's gowns.

Prince's Day 2023

Her Majesty wore an elaborate coat dress and trousers from Claes Iversen, the Princess of Orange in a purple crepe dress from Safiyaa, and her younger sister, PrincessAlexia donned a rouge dress from Zhivago. All of them wore Gianvito Rossi shoes.

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