What is Prinsjesdag?

The third Tuesday of September, a big day for the Netherlands: Prinsjesdag (literally translated: Little Prince’s Day). Together with Kingsday, Prinsjesdag belongs to the few times of the year where we throw all our Dutch Republic roots out the window and bathe in monarchism. But what is this day about? Find out on September 20th.

Throne of Monarchs in The Hague. Photo: Wikipedia

Throne of Monarchs in The Hague. Photo: Wikipedia

Prinsjesdag evolves around one main event: the King’s speech. In this speech, the king presents the rough outlines of the governmental policies for the upcoming year. This speech is traditionally delivered from the Throne of the Monarchs, situated in the Ridderzaal in The Hague. After this, the Minister of Finance presents the proposal for next year’s national budget.


However, long complicated speeches are not the reason that many Dutchmen turn on their television on this special day. As any event that celebrates the Dutch constitutional monarchy, this day comes with many entertaining rituals. One particular highlight is the headgear of all the female ministers and of course her majesty the queen. From flowers to ashtrays, from teabags to chef’s hats, you will not find an object that has not once graced a Dutch minister’s head on Prinsjesdag. Another tradition you can’t miss if you’re tuning in on Prinsjesdag is the arrival of the King and Queen in their Carriage, surrounded by eight uniformed footmen. This year, as their usual ride is being renovated, the King and Queen will be transported in the Glass Carriage, the predecessor of their Golden Carriage.

Introducing the Netherlands

Have all these traditions piqued your interest and do you want to know more about the roots of Prinsjesdag? On September 20th, the first of a series of symposiums called ‘Introducing the Netherlands’ will take place. This first symposium will focus especially on Prinsjesdag and its role in the Dutch constitutional monarchy. Find out more about the event here.


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