The Queen's official birthday (Koninginnedag) is a national holiday, which is celebrated by street parties and other events.
During the reigns of Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Juliana, it was the custom to celebrate Koninginnedag on the Queen's birthday - 31 August and 30 April respectively. On the day of her investiture, 30 April 1980, Queen Beatrix stated that she wished to continue celebrating it on 30 April, as a mark of respect for her mother, Queen Juliana.
The forerunner of today's public holiday was celebrated for the first time on 31 August 1889, Princess Wilhelmina's birthday. It was an initiative of the Liberal Party in the hope that a symbol designed to foster national unity would promote unity within its own ranks. As the day marked the end of the summer, it replaced the local harvest festivals normally held at that time of the year. The first real Koninginnedag took place on 31 August 1891, after the death of King William III.
Queen Juliana 30 april 1909 - 20 march 2004
During the years that Queen Emma, Queen Wilhelmina's mother, spent the summers at Soestdijk Palace, the local population would present her with a floral tribute on her birthday on 2 August. When Princess Juliana took up residence in her grandmother's country home following her marriage in 1937, the tradition was continued on her birthday, 30 April. After her accession to the throne in 1948, this was the date on which Koninginnedag was celebrated, and the modest parade grew into a national event. During Queen Juliana's reign, it gradually became the custom for everyone to have a day off on 30 April, which ultimately became an official public holiday.
In 1980, as a mark of respect for her mother, Queen Beatrix announced that Koninginnedag would continue to be celebrated on 30 April. She did, however, change the way in which it is celebrated, by attending the festivities in one or two different places each year. It's an Orange thing!
The prevalent color, symbolizing national and royal pride, stems from the royal family name - The Family Nassau, House of Orange. This inheritance dates back to the 16th century and it is this title that allowed Stadhouder Willam I - Prince of Orange to declare war on Spain, making the Dutch 80 year war of Independence an official war rather than just a rebel uprising. During and after that war The Netherlands was lead by three generations of Willam's descendants, not as Kings but rather as Stadhouders (State Keepers) in the world's first democracy.
After a brief occupation by France with Louis Napoleon serving as King of The Netherlands, the Dutch decided a Monarchy was not such a bad idea after all. Serving more as a watch-dog over the Parliament rather than a divine sovereign, King Willam I became Holland's first King in 1815, and the House of Orange has ruled ever since.
In the spirit of the day, you'll find most people wear something orange, while others are decked head to foot in orange.
visit the Rijksmuseum.
visit the Rijksmuseum.
A large museum dedicated to painting and Netherland history.
Open : 10AM - 5PM.
Price : 15G.
The East entry is for the 15° Century : the most famous period of the Ducht painting.
If there is a queue, try the entry 19 Hobbermastraat. It is less known and consequently less crowded... The main part of the Vermeer's paintings are here.
There is also the 'Nachtwatch', the most famous painting (and the largest) of Rembrandt. A part of the work had been cut during the 18° Century to place the frame between two columns of the city hall. You can see a reduced copy at the left of the painting showing the original image.
See 2 paintings on display at the Museum, on the Travelogue.
Occassionally you may catch an inpromptu choir singing just off Dam Square,
The mood was jolly & people were swaying side to side with their beers as the band played & the men sang
I suspect this was part of the Sail 2005 festivities
The holland is famous of wooden clogs.today there are so many varieties of clogs,but they still have the same wooden ones.so if you'd like some nice souvenires,you can buy small clogs.nice and cute.
Princess Margriet was born on 19 January 1943, the third daughter of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. The Princess was born in Ottawa, Canada, where the family had been living since June 1940, after the German occupation of the Netherlands. The premises on which Princess Margriet was born were placed temporarily outside the jurisdiction of Canadian law so that she would have exclusively Dutch, and not dual, nationality. She was named after the marguerite, the flower worn during the war as a symbol of the resistance to Nazi Germany.
It was not until August 1945, when the Netherlands had been liberated, that Princess Margriet first set foot on Dutch soil. Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard returned to Soestdijk Palace in Baarn, where the family had lived before the war.
Princess Margriet received her primary education at The Workshop (De Werkplaats), Kees Boeke's progressive school in Bilthoven, and at the Nieuwe Baarnse School in Baarn. She completed her secondary education at Baarns Lyceum, passing her school leaving examinations in arts subjects and classics in 1961. She spent the next year studying French literature, history and art history at the University of Montpellier. On her return to the Netherlands she enrolled at Leiden University, where she studied elementary jurisprudence, constitutional law, Roman law and some social science subjects. During her student days, the Princess lived on the Rapenburg in Leiden.
Marriage and family
It was while she was studying at Leiden University that Princess Margriet met her future husband, Pieter van Vollenhoven. Their engagement was announced on 10 March 1965, and they were married on 10 January 1967 in The Hague. The Princess and her husband took up residence in the right wing of Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn. In 1975 the family moved to their present home, Het Loo House, which they had had built near the Palace.
Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven have four sons: Prince Maurits, born in 1968, Prince Bernhard, born in 1969, Prince Pieter-Christiaan, born in 1972 and Prince Floris, born in 1975.
Princess Margriet is a member of the boards of many social, cultural and community-based organisations. As a member of the royal house, she also has representative duties, and, to this end, she devotes considerable attention to many sectors of society. She frequently visits companies, care institutions and institutions devoted to the arts.
The Princess is also active outside the Netherlands. She visits many international exhibitions in which the Netherlands plays a prominent role. She is also patron of the New York-based Netherlands-America Foundation, and of the Netherlands American Amity Trust whose headquarters are in Washington. These organisations were established to cement the ties of friendship between the Netherlands and the United States. Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven nearly always take part in the reception of heads of state on official visits to the Netherlands.
Princess Margriet keeps in close touch with the Dutch merchant navy, her sponsor at her christening in 1943. She is patron of a number of the sector's organisations and associations.
The Princess is highly active in health care and social work. She is the Chair of the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (the international organisation) and vice-Chair of the Netherlands Red Cross. The Princess has had practical experience of Red Cross work since 1965, when she trained as a Nursing Auxiliary First Class in a hospital in Amersfoort and on the J. Henri Dunant, a Red Cross hospital ship which takes disabled people on holiday trips.
Princess Margriet is actively involved in a number of other organisations in the field of health care and social work. She is external advisor to the National Union of Volunteers, an organisation set up to promote and provide volunteer social work, and is patron, member or honorary member of several other organisations.
Princess Margriet is patron or board member of various organisations in the field of the arts too. She is chair of the Fondation Européenne de la Culture, which was established in Geneva in 1954. The aim of the Fondation, which Prince Bernhard also chaired for many years, is to promote European cooperation in the field of education, the arts, the environment and social issues, and closer cultural cooperation between Eastern and Western Europe.
The Princess is a member of the Supervisory Board of Het Loo Palace Museum, which used to be her home. She regularly opens exhibitions at the museum.
Princess Margriet's favourite leisure pursuits are reading, theatre, horse-riding, skating and skiing.