King Willem-Alexander addressed a joint session of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives yesterday in the Hall of Knights in The Hague. The speech from the throne is intended to set out the main subjects of the government policy for the coming parliamentary session. This joint session is prescribed by 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.”
King Willem-Alexander departed Noordeinde Palace, his working Palace, in the Glass Coach for the Binnenhof escorted by a military escort. The Glass Coach is a replacement for the Golden Coach which will be undergoing maintenance and restoration for a few years. The Glass Coach is actually much older than the Golden Coach and has been recently restored. The Glass Coach has been in possession of the royal family since 1826. King William III used the coach for Prinsjesdag and his wife Queen Regent Emma and their daughter Queen Wilhelmina continued this tradition. Queen Wilhelmina was gifted the Golden Coach for her inauguration in 1898, against her own wishes. She used the Golden Coach for her wedding in 1901. She continued to use both the Golden and Glass Coach for Prinsjesdag, though she preferred the Glass Coach. The Glass Coach is designed to show as much of its passengers as possible. The roof is completely made of glass.
King Willem-Alexander’s mother, Princess Beatrix, watched the procession from the Mauritshuis, near the Binnenhof. King Willem-Alexander was accompanied by his wife, Queen Maxima. Afterwards, they appeared on the balcony of Noordeinde Palace and were joined by Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, King-Willem-Alexander’s brother and his sister-in-law.