Inauguration of the Dutch monarch

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A painting by Nicolaas Pieneman depicting King William II swearing the oath during his inauguration on 28 November 1840 De inhuldiging van koning Willem II in de Nieuwe Kerk te Amsterdam, 28 november 1840 Rijksmuseum SK-A-3852.jpeg
A painting by Nicolaas Pieneman depicting King William II swearing the oath during his inauguration on 28 November 1840

Upon his or her accession to the throne, the new Dutch monarch undergoes an inauguration ceremony as required by the constitution. The ceremony is taken as a joint session of the two houses of the States General, and is held at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.

A joint session or joint convention is, most broadly, when two normally separate decision-making groups meet together, often in a special session or other extraordinary meeting, for a specific purpose.

Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam church in Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Nieuwe Kerk is a 15th-century church in Amsterdam located on Dam Square, next to the Royal Palace. Formerly a Dutch Reformed Church parish, it now belongs to the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.

Amsterdam Capital city of the Netherlands and municipality

Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 854,047 within the city proper, 1,357,675 in the urban area and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country but is not its capital, which is Haarlem. The Amsterdam metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, which has a population of approximately 8.1 million.

Contents

Background

Inauguration of William I, 30 March 1814 Inauguration of William I of the Netherlands.gif
Inauguration of William I, 30 March 1814

In contrast with many other European monarchic customs, in the Netherlands new monarchs are not crowned. The Dutch crown and other regalia have never been physically bestowed. Article 32 of the Dutch constitution states that as soon as the monarch assumes the royal prerogative, he is to be sworn-in and invested in Amsterdam at a public joint session of the two houses of the States General. [1] The monarch may not exercise the royal prerogative until reaching the age of 18. [2]

Crown of the Netherlands

The current Crown of the Netherlands is of relatively modern origin. In 1813 the new "Sovereign Ruler" of the Netherlands, Prince Willem of Orange, son and heir of the exiled Stadtholder Willem V of Orange, was sworn in as Dutch monarch in Amsterdam. There was no crown present at the ceremony.

Inauguration is strictly ceremonial as the successor to the throne instantly becomes the new monarch at the moment the former monarch dies or abdicates. The last Dutch monarch to rule until his death was William III in 1890. His successor was his daughter, Wilhelmina; however, she was not inaugurated until her coming of age in 1898. Her mother Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont was regent from 1890 to 1898. Wilhelmina passed the throne to her daughter Juliana in 1948.

William III of the Netherlands King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg 1849 - 1890

William III was King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg from 1849 until his death in 1890. He was also the Duke of Limburg from 1849 until the abolition of the duchy in 1866.

Wilhelmina of the Netherlands Queen of the Netherlands 1898 - 1948

Wilhelmina was Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 until her abdication in 1948.

Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont Queen consort of the Netherlands, 1879–1890

Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont was Queen consort of the Netherlands and Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg by marriage to King-Grand Duke William III. An immensely popular member of the Dutch Royal Family, Queen Emma served as regent for her daughter, Queen Wilhelmina, during the latter's minority from 1890 until 1898.

Abdication

King Willem Alexander and his family at the balcony of the Royal Palace of Amsterdam following the abdication of Queen Beatrix, on April 30, 2013 King Willem-Alexander and family.JPG
King Willem Alexander and his family at the balcony of the Royal Palace of Amsterdam following the abdication of Queen Beatrix, on April 30, 2013

Every monarch since Wilhelmina have so far chosen to abdicate their thrones after a certain time. The monarch, the heir to the throne, the royal family and the cabinet led by the prime minister meet in the Royal Palace of Amsterdam in the State Hall. The monarch signs the instrument of abdication, which is then signed by the heir, members of the royal family and members of government. As soon as the instrument is signed, the new monarch's accession is complete. The previous monarch then steps on the balcony of the palace, where the new monarch is introduced to the waiting public outside.

Cabinet (government) group of high ranking officials, usually representing the executive branch of government

A Cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials, typically consisting of the top leaders of the executive branch. Members of a cabinet are usually called Cabinet ministers or secretaries. The function of a Cabinet varies: in some countries it is a collegiate decision-making body with collective responsibility, while in others it may function either as a purely advisory body or an assisting institution to a decision making head of state or head of government. Cabinets are typically the body responsible for the day-to-day management of the government and response to sudden events, whereas the legislative and judicial branches work in a measured pace, in sessions according to lengthy procedures.

Prime minister most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system

A Prime Minister is the head of a cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. A prime minister is not a head of state or chief executive officer of their respective nation, rather they are a head of government, serving typically under a monarch in a hybrid of aristocratic and democratic government forms.

Royal Palace of Amsterdam palace in Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Amsterdam is one of three palaces in the Netherlands which are at the disposal of the monarch by Act of Parliament. It is situated on the west side of Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam, opposite the War Memorial and next to the Nieuwe Kerk.

After the signature, the new monarch proceeds from the palace to the Nieuwe Kerk, where the States General of the Netherlands and the cabinet along with guests of honour have assembled.

States General of the Netherlands legislature of the Netherlands

The States General of the Netherlands is the bicameral legislature of the Netherlands consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both chambers meet at the Binnenhof in The Hague.

Ceremony

The ceremony takes place as a joint session of the two houses of the States General (Verenigde Vergadering) and is presided over by the president of the joint session (i.e. the president of the senate). The ritual is held at the Nieuwe Kerk, in the capital city of Amsterdam. Regalia such as the crown, orb and sceptre are present but are never physically given to the monarch, nor are they worn by him or her, instead they are placed on cushions, on what is called a credence table. The royal regalia surround a copy of the Dutch constitution. Two other regalia–the sword of state and the standard of the kingdom bearing the coat of arms of the Netherlands–are carried by two senior military officers. During the ceremony, the monarch, wearing a ceremonial mantle, is seated on a chair of state on a raised dais opposite members of the States General.

President of the Senate (Netherlands) elected member leading the meetings of the Senate of the Netherlands

The President of the Senate is one of the 75 members of the Senate of the Netherlands and is elected to lead its meetings and be its representative. The officeholder also chairs the Internal Committee, the Committee of Senior Members as well as the joint sessions of both houses of the States General, the so-called Verenigde Vergadering.

Mantle (royal garment) robe or cloak worn by monarchs on specific ceremonial occasions

A royal mantle, or more simply a mantle, is a garment normally worn by emperors, kings or queens as a symbol of authority. When worn at a coronation such mantles may be referred to as a coronation mantle. Many princes also wear such a mantle. Sometimes the mantles are worn only once, but in some instances they may be worn or used at other occasions such as during the opening of a session of the nation's legislature. Mantles also feature prominently in state portraiture and artwork featuring monarchs and princes.

The ceremony consists of two parts

The monarch's master of ceremonies announces the arrival of the new monarch, who takes his seat on a chair of state opposite members of the States General and the regalia. The monarch gives an address before taking the oath to uphold the constitution and protect the people of the Kingdom.

I swear (promise) to the people of the Kingdom that I shall constantly preserve and uphold the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Constitution.
I swear (promise) that I shall defend and preserve the independence and the territory of the Kingdom to the best of my ability, that I shall protect the freedom and rights of all Dutch citizens and residents, and that I shall employ all means placed at my disposal by the law to preserve and promote prosperity, as a good king should do.
So help me God! (This I promise!) [3]

Following the monarch's oath, the monarch is paid homage to by the assemblage of people. The president of the joint session makes a declaration on behalf of those assembled and then swears or affirms this declaration.

We receive and invest, in the name of the people of the Kingdom and in accordance with the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Constitution, you as king; we swear (promise) that we will maintain your inviolability and the rights of your Crown.
We swear (promise) to do all that a good and faithful States General, States of Aruba, States of Curaçao and States of St Maarten should do;
So help us God! (This we promise!) [4]

Following this, the names of the members of the States General are called out, who then swear or affirm this declaration in turn. They either swear with the right hand raised and state, "Zo waarlijk helpe mij God Almachtig" (So truly help me, God almighty), or take a pledge with a simple "Dat beloof ik" (I promise that). [5]

After every member has sworn or affirmed the declaration, the president of the joint session declares the ceremony to have been completed. This is followed by the senior King of Arms exclaiming that the monarch has been inaugurated and the president crying "long live the king!" to the response of three hurrahs from the public. The other heralds proceed outside the church to Dam Square where they also announce to the public outside that the monarch has been inaugurated and cry "long live the king!"

After the homage ceremony, the monarch and his retinue then exit the church and return to the palace. The ceremony is then followed by an official reception at the palace.

Medals

Commemoration medal for Queen Beatrix's inauguration in 1980 Inhuldigingsmedaille 1980 Nederland.jpg
Commemoration medal for Queen Beatrix's inauguration in 1980

Since the inauguration of Queen Wilhelmina in 1898, the Dutch government issues for each inauguration a limited number of commemoration medals (Inhuldigingsmedaille). The obverse shows the profile of the new monarch, while the reverse features the royal monogram, surrounded on the rim with the name of the monarch and the date of the inauguration. The ribbon's colour is mainly in orange, the colour of the royal house, and blue. [6]

See also

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Speech from the throne

A speech from the throne is an event in certain monarchies in which the reigning sovereign, or a representative thereof, reads a prepared speech to members of the nation's legislature when a session is opened, outlining the government's agenda and focus for the forthcoming session; or in some cases, closed. When a session is opened, the address sets forth the government's priorities with respect to its legislative agenda, for which the cooperation of the legislature is sought. The speech is often accompanied with formal ceremony and is often held annually, although in some places it may occur more or less frequently, whenever a new session of the legislature is opened.

Coronation ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or his or her consort with regal power

A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. The term generally also refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the presentation of other items of regalia, marking the formal investiture of a monarch with regal power. Aside from the crowning, a coronation ceremony may comprise many other rituals such as the taking of special vows by the monarch, the investing and presentation of regalia to the monarch, and acts of homage by the new ruler's subjects and the performance of other ritual deeds of special significance to the particular nation. Western-style coronations have often included anointing the monarch with holy oil, or chrism as it is often called; the anointing ritual's religious significance follows examples found in the Bible. The monarch's consort may also be crowned, either simultaneously with the monarch or as a separate event.

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<i>Koningsdag</i> Dutch national holiday

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Coronations in Europe

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References

  1. Netherlands constitution, article 32
  2. Netherlands constitution, article 33
  3. Swearing-in and Investiture of the King act, article 1
  4. Swearing-in and Investiture of the King act, article 2
  5. "Abdication information". Dutch Royal House. Archived from the original on 2013-02-03.
  6. "Inhuldiging koning Willem-Alexander | Koningsdag 27 april" (in Dutch). Koningsdag 27april.info. 2013-04-30. Retrieved 2013-05-19.