Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Memories of royal times past

She was its main protagonist for over thirty years but today the former queen of the Netherlands, Beatrix, took a back seat on her country's special day. As her son, the king, rode to the Knight's Hall in The Hague in the Golden Carriage amidst the pomp and ceremony of Prince's Day, the now Princess Beatrix was seen watching from a window as her son rode past.

Beatrix of the Netherlands watches her past ride by on Prince's Day 2014

The boy who is her son and was her heir is now her monarch and takes centre stage on a national day which began in the 18th century to mark the birthday of another king called William.  Now it is a chance for the head of state to read the government's plans for the coming year to the country's politicians before saluting his fellow country men and women from the balcony of the Noordeinde Palace. Beatrix's mother didn't attend the celebrations after she abdicated and now daughter has followed parent, the most recent queen regnant of the Netherlands also chooses not to take part and let the spotlight fall fully on the man who is king.

The view of a former queen - what Beatrix saw on Prince's Day 2014

The day that once belonged to her is now the domain of someone else and like everyone else in the Nethelands, Beatrix sat back and enjoyed the spectacle.  But unlike them, she perhaps found another significance in the magnificent scenes of gold and pomp and ceremony.  For her it was a parade of royal times past and a moment of memories of days that will never come again. Beatrix's future is her past as well and Prince's Day is a reminder of a reign now gone but not forgotten.

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