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Published: September 19th 2006
The Queen's transportation
Looks much better than the Metro bus I rode all summer long...
As I was reading some scholarly articles on the couch, Chiel turned on the tv and I couldn't help but watch what was happening. I guess today is a special day in The Netherlands when the Queen Beatrix reads to the public the results of the government's decisions on where the country's money will be divided and what portions will go to which departments (i.e., roads, healthcare, schools, etc). It happens every year and it's always the third Tuesday in September. This whole thing happense in The Hague, Netherlands, and is called "Prinsjesdag" or Prince day.
She was seated on this gigantic golden throne, wearing a gold and black silky looking dress. Her hat was the best - gigantic, stiff and golden with the rim bent upwards so that you could pour water in her hat and she'd have a little moat. The cameras also focused on other priviledged people in the crowd. The men dressed the same - suits, ties, etc. But the women were all wearing gigantic
hats from like the olden days. After the Queen read off the results, the cameras pointed out all the women with the largest, brightest, and most extravegant (and ugly) headwear.
The Queen was then escorted out of the building and she climbed into a golden carriage that looked similar to the one in Cinderella! The carriage is pure gold with beautiful statues that are attached on the four corners of the carriage. The statues hold up a post where a swinging lantern is attached. In the carriage sat the Queen, her son (the prince) and her son's wife from Argentina. All around her were men in full uniform. The carriage was pulled by six black horses and a man with a whitish-grey curly wig sat atop the carriage with the reins. It was so old-fashioned and the whole ceremony included a marching band and lines and lines of more soldiers. There were different uniforms for clumps of soldiers but they all had a piece of orange on them, whether it be a sash or a pompom on their poofy black hats. I always knew that the Netherlands' spirit color was orange, but I never knew why until today. Chiel told me that it's for the Queen because one of her last names means "from orange," so the country uses the orange color to praise the Queen, etc etc. Yes, I said one of her last names because her full name is: "Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard prinses der Nederlanded, prinses van Orange-Nassau
, prinses van Lippe-Biesterfeld." And I thought my last name was long.
I also found out from Chiel that the Queen is almost 70 and has absolutely NO power. She's just there because it's tradition. He said that the country did a survey a while back and the Netherlands actually gets money for having a Queen. I think it's probably from tourism and such. So it was decided to keep the Queen (or King, but her husband died) so she can present new news to the public and look pretty. When she gets too old, she will hand her reign over to her son who will be King. I wonder if all the money from the Netherlands will change. The euros are used here of course, but just like the United State's quarters with different states on the back, the Euro has the same thing but with different countries from the European Union. Her face is currently on some of the euros, I think, so maybe her son's face will be slowly incorporated into the money. Who knows.
After taking so many TC classes, I know about copyright stuff. So I have to give credit to Viktorious who posted the picture of the carriage on flickr (it's from last years event). Thanks! =)
Till next time,
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