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The Netherlands

A royal debut on Prince’s Day as King Willem-Alexander reflects on his reign

As King Willem-Alexander delivered the annual Prinsjesdag speech, his second daughter, Princess Alexia, attended the ceremony for the very first time.

The King, celebrating 10 years on the throne, mentioned this in the opening of his Prinsjesdag (or Budget Day) speech from the throne, telling the gathered members of the government: “Ten years that I look back on with gratitude. Some events were poignant and raw with sadness, such as the attack on flight MH17. At other times, emotion went hand in hand with healing and connection, such as this year on July 1, during the commemoration of the abolition of slavery.

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“Of course I think of the coronavirus pandemic period, which had such a profound impact on everyone’s personal lives. And of course I think of the war in Ukraine. It is moments and events like this that will forever remain part of our history and that are etched in your and my memory.”

He added: “Time and again, the Netherlands appears to be a country of enterprising and initiative-rich people who want to do good for and with each other, in connection with their neighbours, village, city, association or region.”

The King’s speech from the throne acts as the opening of the parliamentary year as well, as it outlines the plans and budget for the year.

King Willem-Alexander revealed that studying the history of slavery within the kingdom will remain a top priority—months after he gave a historic apology speech in the summer.

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He shared that the government will continue to work on addressing rising costs for families, poverty, and recovery from natural disasters—particularly in Groningen. The continued resistance against Russia and support for Ukraine will be a top priority; as will international trade, economic development, education, digitisation, climate, and culture.

According to reports, the costs of the Dutch Royal Family will rise to €55.9 million, up from €50.2 million over the previous year. Princess Catharina-Amalia once again declined her full allowance, as she has every year since reaching her majority. She will only start receiving it in full when she begins her full-time royal duties.

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In the interim, she receives around €300,000 each year in income from the budget, but has paid it back every year while declining the roughly €1.5 million expense account she is entitled to as heir to the throne.

The Dutch Royal Family departed from Noordeinde Palace for Prinsjesdag via horse-drawn procession. This year, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima were joined by their two oldest daughters, Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, and Princess Alexia; as well as by the King’s brother, Prince Constantijn and his wife, Princess Laurentien.

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Princess Alexia’s attendance comes two weeks after she carried out her first solo engagement, christening a ship named in her honour. She is currently taking a gap year before attending university.

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After the speech from the throne, the royals appeared on the balcony at Noordeinde Palace.

King Willem-Alexander’s full speech can be read here.

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.