Every year at the third Tuesday of September in the afternoon Dutch reigning monarch addresses the senate and house of Representatives in the hall of the Knights (Ridderzaal) in The Hague. Dutch king Willem Alexander reads the speech of Throne which consists of the country’s policy and proposal of the next year’s budget. When the speech is finished the speaker shouts “Lang leve de Koning” “Long live the King”. Everyone present in the hall answers with “Hoera hoera hoera” it’s hooray in English.
It sounds simple but Prinsjesdag is a day of tradition. The king and queen arrive at the Ridderzaal with the golden chariot. The guests are dressed sharply. The men’s dresscode is Jacquet (English Morning dress) 3 pieces dark suit with a morning long coat in black, waistcoat and striped trousers with a grey mostly boldly striped tie and a hat. Ladies wear appropriate dress with a hat. Fashion wise see Dutch Prinsjesdag as the Ascott in the UK.
The king, queen and other royal family members ride the golden chariot to the Ridderzaal from the palace Noordeinde escorted by military escort of honour. Afterwards they go back to the palace with the chariot. Royal minded people stand along the route to take the glimpse of the royals. When they atrive, there is a balcony scene where royal family members wave to public.
Everytime I see this it reminds me of how it would have been like two centuries ago. It was the first time Prinsjesdag was held. It still feels old fashioned now. Every year Prinsjesdag reminds me that I live in a Monarchy country.
Why it is important
To a commoners like me Prinsjesdag is very important because the taken policy based on the budget’s proposal affects my financial situation.
After the King left the Ridderzaal, the minister of Treasury officially presents the parliament and cabinet the next year’s budget proposal in a case. On the case it is printed “The third Tuesday of September”. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch minister of Treasury on the way with the case to the parliament and cabinet.
Afterwards the parliament debates about the budget. This is important as PM can reserve and gain budget to finance various plans.
The PM writes the Speech of Thrones. Today the king started his speech commemorating the MH17 tragedy. Every year the budget plan leaked to the press days before. In snippets I have heard that health insurance will rise with € 1000 a year in 2015. Some taxes are cut. Certain tax incomebox disappears etc.
Some of these questions will be answered tomorrow; Does the income tax increase or decrease? Do I still receive state support on certain things etc. Most of all would I be able to spend more to keep the economy going. Because that is what the country strives for; to stimulate the economy after the crisis.
All pictures are courtesy of ANP