Tuesday is Prince's Day.

King Willem-Alexander then reads the Speech from the Throne.

It contains the main plans of the government for the coming year.

But why is Prinsjesdag so called?

Who are those princes anyway?

And how long have we been celebrating this?

The history of Prinsjesdag in brief.

Prinsjesdag was originally the birthday of Stadtholder Prince William V (1748-1806) on 8 March.

At the end of the eighteenth century, Prinsjesdag was one of the most popular folk festivals in our country, comparable to our King's Day today.

It was during the time of the Republic of the United Netherlands and people seized the opportunity of Prinsjesdag to show their orange and prince-mindedness.

But even before Willem V 'claimed' Prinsjesdag, Princes' Days already existed.

These were days when people celebrated the birthday of a stadtholder or prince.

It is not known exactly when a Prince's Day took place, but it would have been in the seventeenth century.

Until that moment, Prinsjesdag had nothing to do with announcing the plans of the government.

From 1814, Prinsjesdag began to resemble the day as we know it today.

On May 2 of that year, King William I read the First Speech from the Throne.

King Willem I leaves Noordeinde Palace on his way to the Binnenhof during Prinsjesdag in 1839.

King Willem I leaves Noordeinde Palace on his way to the Binnenhof during Prinsjesdag in 1839.

Photo: National Archives

The third Tuesday of September

  • Nowadays we celebrate Prinsjesdag on the third Tuesday of September, but this has not always been the case.

    Prinsjesdag used to fall on the first Monday of November.

    Later this became the third Monday in October.

  • Because The Hague found the time to finalize the budget plans before 1 January too tight, Prinsjesdag was brought forward in 1848 to the third Monday in September.

  • In 1887, Prinsjesdag was definitively moved to the third Tuesday of September.

    That was for a practical reason.

    At the time, the journey to The Hague was a long one for many MPs.

    In order to be in the Chamber on time, they had to leave home on Sunday.

    In view of the Sunday rest, Christian parties in particular objected to this.


Unique images of Prinsjesdag in 1925

Ministers are going to determine what king (ess) should say

Between 1814 and 1848 the monarch largely determined policy in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has had a parliamentary democracy since 1848 and the ministers determine what the king or queen would say.

In the first years, the speech from the throne did not amount to much.

For example, the Dutch were told about the state of the army and navy and how relations with other countries were going.

In the years that followed, the speech from the throne grew longer and longer.

From 1930, Prinsjesdag is the annual opening day of the States General (the Senate and House of Representatives).

It was only from those years that the general public became really familiar with the name Prinsjesdag.

Since 1983, the opening of the States General has disappeared from the constitution.

From that moment on, Prinsjesdag is only the day on which the monarch delivers the Speech from the Throne.

Symbols of Prince's Day

  • The Golden Coach: In 1903, Queen Wilhelmina was the first to make the way to the Binnenhof in the Golden Coach.

    She had been given the means of transport as a present at her inauguration.

    Since 2015, the coach has been under restoration and replaced by the Glass Coach.

    Incidentally, there is little chance that the Golden Coach will ever return because of the references to the colonial past that are on the coach.

    Due to the corona measures, no driving tour through The Hague will take place this year.

  • The briefcase: After the speech from the throne, the Minister of Finance brings a briefcase containing the National Budget and the Budget Memorandum to the House of Representatives.

    This tradition started in 1947.

  • The Knights' Hall: The King or Queen delivered the Speech from the Throne between 1815 and 1904 in the meeting room of the House of Representatives.

    Since 1904, the Ridderzaal on the Binnenhof in The Hague has been chosen as the location.

    Due to the corona rules, the speech from the throne will take place this year (just like last year) in the Grote Kerk in The Hague.

2015 was probably the last year that the royal couple appeared in the Golden Coach at the Binnenhof.

2015 was probably the last year that the royal couple appeared in the Golden Coach at the Binnenhof.

Photo: ANP

See also: Professor does not think that the Golden Coach will ever be driven around again