Prinsjesdag

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Today is one of the most orange days in the Dutch calendar.

Even though the name refers to The Prince’s Day it is the King (previously the Queen) that takes center stage. With lots of pomp the king travels in a gilded coach (Gouden Kouts) from his working palace on Noordeinde in The Hague to the Ridderzaal on Binnenhof to deliver the Troonrede (the speach from the throne) which outlines the main features of the government policy of the coming parliamentary season. The speech is not written by the monarch but by the prime minister and the incumbent government.

This according to the Dutch constitution shall take place on the third Tuesday in September annually. After the speech often lasting  a half hour or less the king returns to the palace where he and the rest of the royal family appear on the balcony to greet the populace.  Back at Binnenhof the Miljoenennota a.k.a the national budget is presented and the debate about it ensue. As a part of this tradition a special case marked “Third Tuesday of September”  in Dutch symbolically contains the budget. However this is a symbolic act as the country’s budget will hardly fit in the case and is well known days in advance as it will be debated. It is a good day to be a school kid in The Hague on this day as traditionally they have the day off.

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