This blog salutes HRH Princess (formerly Queen) Beatrix for her 33 years of service to the Netherlands and congratulates King Willem-Alexander on his accession as the first King of the Netherlands in 123 years. (Here is my chart and map of Europe in 1890, the last time the Netherlands had a King: a very different world.) Lang leven de Koning!
As it turned out, while I missed the actual abdication, I am up to watch the inauguration at the link below. The Nieuwe Kerk looks glorious, virtually unrecognizable from when I was there last month and it was still dominated by "The American Indian" exhibit. The event may not be a coronation, but the new King looks suitably regal in ermine and Queen Maxima lovely in her tiara. An excerpt from the Bach Magnificat needed no translation. It is reassuring to see politicians obliged to swear allegiance to their new King. Thousands of Dutch have gathered in Dam Square to thank their former sovereign and celebrate their new one. Despite the inevitable grumblings of a few killjoy republicans, most Dutch people like their monarchy and see it as an integral part of Dutch identity.
The Amsterdam children's choir, accompanied by the Matangi Quartet (friends of a friend of mine), sang a song by Herman van Veen who performed with musicians of the Dallas Symphony (including yours truly) in Antwerp last month.
It's especially moving at the end of this video to see the former Queen leave the balcony and her three granddaughters come out to join their parents. For
the first time since Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden turned 18 in
1995, Europe has a minor heir to a throne, reminding us that only
Monarchy represents all generations; only Monarchy links the past to the
future so beautifully. God bless Princess Catharina-Amalia (b 2003)!