The reader must realize that the Dutch are anything but royalists by nature. As soon as we shook off the shackles of the Spanish royal tyranny in 1581, we became a constitutional republic (a lot of the US constitution is based on the Dutch and French versions). We still claim to be "the oldest republic" in the world. In doing so one has to ignore the anomaly of San Marino, (whoever heard of them?) which was declared independent from the Roman empire in 301. And to be candid, we continued in 1813 the Monarchy that Napoleon forced on us in 1806, effectively ending our Republic.
Anyway our mindset is still republic-minded, while to the rest of the world we claim to be fiercily loyal to our royal family, whose forefathers avoided being de-throwned by our republican minded government in 1848. The King ceded that year all factual powers to our parliamentary cabinet and its prime-minister in all affairs of government, under a brokered agreement.
The then reigning King Willem II lost "a who blinks first" battle with parliament and the constitution was changed, whereby "the king remained the inviolate head of government (saving his Monarchy), but whereby the minister became responsible", which practically means all laws of the land are decreed by the King, BUT they have to be countersigned by the responsible minister, who brings to the king the passed laws of parliament for him to sign, after which the minister must countersign for a law or decree to be in effect.
Anytime the Monarchy will not sign, they run the risk of parliamentary removal from the throne, as this has been laid down in the Dutch Constitution to be the "privilege of Parliament" since 1848.
|sofar the royal palace in the background is still there|
Well back to Queensday and remember, since Wilhelmina became Queen in 1890, we have only had queens ruling our little Monarchy and during that time we had several "crises", whereby our Monarchy could have returned to a Republic again. The closest we came to that was in 1918, when many European royal families were removed, following the fall of the Russian Tsar.
|the crown was saved, viva the genever|
Since then several husbands created scandals, bringing parliamentary discussions to the floor, whether it should execute their constitutional right to end the Monarchy. As you see, all in all the Royal family needs to work hard to stay beloved.
The present king to be: the Prince of Orange Willem Alexander has secured his succession by marrying a hugely popular commoner from Argentina - Princess Maxima, who is so popular, some people would prefer her to be queen instead of her husband becoming king.
|are they still looking for beer, women and football?|
|orange drinks: alcohol is optional|
|hara krishna is also celebrating queens day|
As we live in the heart of Amsterdam, some statistics to illustrate the size of our "local" party in this the largest city of the country. The trains and buses bring that very day from 8am onward about 800 thousand "guests" to the edge of our city centrum, where traffic is barred for the day, making our inner city a walking-only paradise.
|drinking instead of visiting the sexshop: freedom of choice|
|free market or flea market participant|
|from our window|
|they are not looking at us; we are waving too|
|the bridge in front of our house stays crowded|
As you guys see from the pictures we watched a lot of the action sitting on our windowsill, a typical Amsterdam pastime by the way.
|the ladies are looking for a fun moment or is it a hunk?|
|no rest for the wary|