Prinsjesdag, Royal Cavalry & Den Haag

19th September 2017 was the Prinsjesdag of the Netherlands, which was translated as the Prince’s Day. It was an annual event full of pomp, fanfare and a day when the Dutch king opened the parliament in Den Haag (The Hague).

Our day in Den Haag

The weekend before the actual event took place the Dutch Royal Cavalry, military and the police had various rehearsals with their horses and carriages. Hayley and I were lucky enough to see their rehearsals on the Sunday morning before the main day. Since there weren’t too many people, we were able to follow the horses along the actual route, starting from Koninklijke Stallen (the Royal Stables) all the way to the Binninhof (the Parliament) via the Royal Palace.

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Is Hayley the evil red blue queen in Alice in the Wonderland? Maybe not, but the streets are lined with crowns to celebrate the Prinsjesdag.

The King’s Men & Their Horses

When we got to the Royal Stables, the crowd started to congregate. Nevertheless, it was a really a chilled out event. Roads leading to the stables were still opened to the traffic. People on paddle bikes even stopped outside!

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Police were riding their horses into the Royal stable before the rehearsal began
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Soldiers carried drums and bugles on horseback rode into the stables

 

Following the Leader

After the horses and the riders departed from the stables, we followed them through the streets of Den Haag all the way to the Royal Palace where they practised “loading” the princes, princesses, the king and the queen onto the carriages.

Some of the horses got rather excited and tried to run away. I can’t blame them, they are packed animals and as soon as split some of them from the group they normally get grouchy about it. On several occasions, they horses got dangerously close to the spectators where people could have easily got injured.

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The police rode their horses in formations
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Horses Ahead! Everyone had to stop and wait for their turn to move forward.
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Boby guards were escorting the horse and carriage through the streets towards the palace. I think Disney lied to us again. I thought carriages meant to be a bright orange pumpkin, which also goes with the national colour of the Netherlands. xD
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The carriage pulled out from the palace after the “picked up” the king and the queen. The carriage in the photo was not the one used on the big day. They used the shiny golden one instead.

Arriving at the Binnenhof

After a short stop at the Royal Palace, the carriages headed towards the Binnenhof through the narrow cobbled streets. Slowly and they made the way into the quadyard of the Paliment, where they practiced their moves with the live band.

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Soliders in the their green uniform rode their horses through the cobbled streets. One of them were even carrying a orange and white flag.
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Standing in the square of the Binnenhof made us felt like we were travelled back in time. Especially when the building looked so mediveal and the traditional horses and carriages were around.
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I really want to take a ride on one of these carriages. Maybe next time

 

Afterthoughts

We were certainly glad that we went there instead of on the main day since it looked really crowded on TV. Apart from that, the main difference was that the bloke (aka the king) and the blokette (aka the queen) were not there. Also, the soldiers were wearing the normal uniform instead of the fancy attires. You can see the following YouTube video to see some of the actions on the actual Prinsjedag this year.

 

Trip Details:

  • There are regular train services which serve Den Haag: 30 minutes from Rotterdam & 1 hour from Amsterdam.
  • Alternatively, there are plenty of tram routes which will take you into to city centre of Den Haag if you travel from the nearby cities or suburbs.
  • You can easily get from Den Haag Centraal station to the Binninhof within 15 minutes on foot.

Have you seen the opening of the Paliament in the Netherlands or in other countries? Or have you seen any of these rehersals? Comment below!

 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Such pretty, pretty uniforms! But you’re right, how is the coach not orange?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yhpchung says:

      Haha… maybe one day the king would follow the footsteps of Cinderella and ride an orange carriage…

      Liked by 1 person

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