Well, that was fun.
Starting from the top, let’s recap yesterday’s events beginning with the abdication which took place yesterday morning. Queen Beatrix officially passed over the reigns by signing the Act of Abdication, at which point her title changed to Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.
Here’s Willem-Alexander signing next:
Immediately afterwards, the trio headed out to the balcony to acknowledge the crowds. I love this little moment here. They seem like such a warm family, and like Princess Beatrix has every faith in these two:
After a short while, Princess Beatrix left and out came the new Princess of Orange (Princess Amalia) along with her sisters Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane. This was the first set of adorable matching outfits they were during the day. And check out the oranges in the garland – nice touch!
As a quick little sidebar, here we have photo of the then Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret with their parents at King George VI’s coronation. Ever so much more formal but still adorable:
The formal investiture of the new King came next, and the guests arrived looking ever so smart. Here are a few observations.
Royal Guests with Dutch Orders
A wonderful royal tradition is that for events like this, you bring the highest order of merit with you that you have received from the country you are visiting. It is worn as a mark of respect, so naturally there were several orange sashes on display.
Prince Charles followed this traditions is shown here arriving wearing the Order of the Crown, which is awarded to “foreigners who have rendered special service to the Dutch King or his House.”
I have been debating whether Camilla is wearing a Dutch order as well, but I’m thinking is the Order of the Victorian Cross. There is no record of her having received a Dutch Order as of yet. Does anyone disagree?
While we’re on the subject of Prince Charles, how strange must it be to be a mere ten years younger than the Queen who is abdicating? Plus, he attended Beatrix’s investiture 33 years ago as the Prince of Wales. I really think the Dutch have a smart abdication situation going here. Perhaps Prince William will agree when it is his turn.
Crown Princess Mathilde and Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium
Princess Mathilde and Prince Philippe both showed up in the Order of Orange-Nassau. This order is intended for those who have “earned special merits for society.”
Mathilde also went for a bold hat choice, but I like it. And the orange sash and the dress work! Not always an easy thing to co-ordinate, as you can imagine.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway:
Mette-Marit also has the Grand Cross of Orange-Nassau and Haakon has the Grand Cross with Swords of the Order of Orange Nassau.
I know Mette-Marit’s dress has been getting some criticism for looking like wall paper and her hair ornament for looking like a hair net, but I like ’em!
Prince Felipe of Spain
Prince Felipe is in the Dutch Order club, too. It must have been granted to him during a state visit before Princess Letizia’s time since she doesn’t have one yet.
Some other Royal Guests:
I had such high hopes for Mary after last night’s gorgeous dress. What happened here? It’s very ’70’s hippy dippy and her sash for the Order of the Elephant just makes it all too busy. If we didn’t have all the flowers going on, it might be ok.
I suppose Victoria doesn’t care that whoever sits behind her won’t be able to see a darn thing. She does look lovely, though:
A great pic of some of the royal guests. Princess Masako made it! And her husband Crown Prince Naruhito is shown wearing the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of the Netherlands, so he’s in the club, too.
The King and Queen of the Netherlands
They certainly looked regal and did their jobs well.
Maxima opted for a blue gown instead of orange, and who would blame her when you have the Mellerio Sapphire Tiara is in the vault? This is the first time she has publicly worn this piece. It seems it’s on reserve for Queens only.
I just LOVE the Maxima’s whole ensemble. The sash for the Order of the Netherlands Lion looks divine tucked under the little belt. The cape is so classy, and the perfect Queenly accompaniment to King Willem-Alexander’s ermine cape. Check it out in action here:
And here we have the other ladies in blue:
Afterwards, there was a Royal Group Photo for the history books:
Who gets to stand where is so fascinating to me. Is the pride of those on the outskirts wounded or are they just happy to be there? Notably, Prince Charles got a spot of honour next to Queen Maxima!
The River Pageant
And then it was time for another change of clothes and off to the river:
It all got a thumbs up from Maxima:
What wins it all for me is the capes. OMG the capes. It’s like they are about to go to traipsing into the hills:
Happiness! Princess Mette-Marit got on the cape bandwagon, too:
And so did Princess Beatrix:
To end, Princess Mary showed up in a festive red, much improved from earlier in the day:
So? Was that fun or what? Would love to hear your thoughts!