26 April 2013

Inauguration Special: What's Coming Up

We've been waiting since January, and the big day of the Dutch abdication and inauguration is almost here! Today, just a few details on what's ahead - there are some officially released facts, and a whole lot of speculation. You're welcome to add more in the comments.

The schedule of events: I'll give a brief rundown below, but there's no better resource (for accuracy and details including times) than the Royal House itself, click here for their news page. For translating local times, do click here for a handy time zone converter.
  • April 29: Queen Beatrix will host a dinner (including foreign royals).
  • April 30, morning: The formal abdication, followed by a balcony appearance.
  • April 30, afternoon: The inauguration, or investiture.
  • April 30, late afternoon/evening: Celebrations, including a reception and a water pageant.
Where to watch: You'll be able to watch the festivities no matter where you're located - there's always a way and there are always options for streaming online if none of the television stations in your country are broadcasting live. Dutch station NOS seems to be planning the most extensive coverage, starting their broadcast at 9 a.m. Click here for their site, and click here for their YouTube page which should be available to all. I know multiple stations in other countries will be covering the festivities live as well, and you're welcome to add additional links in the comments.

Foreign royal guests: The tradition with these sorts of coronation/etc. events is that fellow heads of state typically stay home and are represented by other family members, and that is what will happen here. Until the official guest list is released (soon, I hope), the following members of foreign royal families have independently confirmed their attendance:
  • Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway
  • Crown Princess and Prince Daniel of Sweden
  • Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark
  • Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
  • Duke and Duchess of Brabant
  • Prince and Princess of Asturias
  • Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall
  • Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Japan 
  • Crown Prince and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand 
  • Crown Prince of Brunei 
Update: the guest list is now on the Royal House's site.
Title changes: Willem-Alexander and Máxima will become King and Queen, Beatrix will once again be Princess Beatrix (which probably sounds like a demotion of you're used to Queen Mother and titles like that, but it's just the law and no surprise), and Catharina-Amalia will become the Princess of Orange.

What to expect: The past is always a good place to start if you want to make predictions for the future (including dress code, which is what I know many of you are curious about), so let's look back at what we've seen before...

The Abdication: This happens in the morning, so expect day wear - suits and the like. Juliana wore a hat when she became queen, Beatrix did not. This is also an event for the Dutch royals and their government, so don't look for all those foreign royal guests.
Queen Juliana and Princess Wilhelmina on the balcony following Wilhelmina's abdication, left; during Queen Juliana's abdication proceedings, right

The Inauguration: We know that Willem-Alexander will be wearing white tie and the ermine-lined mantle (robe). Máxima has stayed pretty quiet on her outfit. It's been only queens regnant since 1890, so a king with a queen consort will be a change of pace, and it will be interesting to see if the outfits reflect the switch in any way.
L to R: Queens Wilhelmina, Juliana, Beatrix
Wilhelmina wore white and a tiara; Juliana was in blue from Swiss designer Erwin Dolder with ruby jewels (like the Dutch flag, when you throw in the white ermine) and a jeweled cap on her head; Beatrix returned to white with a tiara. (For what it's worth, my guess is the Rose Cut Diamond Bandeau for Máxima, or possibly the Pearl Button back in its star format.)

Video: Beatrix's inauguration
As we can see in the video above, the dress code for royal guests back in 1980 was similar to what we see on Prinsjesdag, with the ladies in hats and long day dresses.

Evening events: Many have guessed the dinner held by Beatrix will be a tiara event, but many have also pointed out that a straight black tie event would be more like what we've seen her pick for similar events throughout her reign.
Evening event for Beatrix's inauguration
In 1980, there were no tiaras (save the one on Beatrix's head during her inauguration, of course); there was a black tie shindig the evening of the inauguration. In 1948, however, the gala concert associated with Juliana's inauguration was full-out sparkle.
Evening event for Juliana's inauguration
New information continues to be released (this might already be out of date as you're reading it, who knows), but we'll have our answers soon enough.

We'll obviously be covering all the fashion and whatnot here as the week goes on. In the mean time, tune in tomorrow for a special Saturday post...
    Photos: ANP/GahetNA/Geheugenvannederland