Inauguration of Willem-Alexander

Coordinates: 52°22′26″N 4°53′30″E / 52.3739°N 4.8918°E / 52.3739; 4.8918
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Inauguration of King Willem-Alexander
King Willem-Alexander en route to his inauguration
Date30 April 2013 (2013-04-30)
LocationAmsterdam, Netherlands

The inauguration of Willem-Alexander took place on 30 April 2013 at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. Willem-Alexander ascended the throne immediately following the abdication of his mother Queen Beatrix earlier that day. Willem-Alexander is the first King of the Netherlands since the death of his great-great-grandfather William III in 1890.


Following a reign of 33 years which began with the abdication of her mother Queen Juliana in 1980, Queen Beatrix, in a televised speech to the nation on 28 January 2013, announced her intent to abdicate the throne in favour of her eldest child, Willem-Alexander,[1] in accordance with the tradition of Dutch monarchs.

On 17 April 2013, Willem-Alexander revealed in an interview that Queen Beatrix had previously informed the Prime Minister of her intention to abdicate the throne, which initiated talks on how and when to do this.[2]


Preparations for this special session of the States General were made by officials of the Senate of the Netherlands. Music for the occasion was performed by the New Amsterdam Children's Choir and the Matangi Quartet.[3]


Instrument of Abdication
Willem-Alexander and Beatrix on the balcony of the Royal Palace, following the latter's abdication.
The King and Queen and their children

The abdication ceremony took place in the Mozeszaal of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. Following a speech, Beatrix signed the Instrument of Abdication, making Willem-Alexander king. The document was then signed by Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and the following:

Following a speech by the Cabinet Director, the new Royal standard was raised over the royal palace.

With the signing of the Instrument of Abdication, a number of titles previously held by Queen Beatrix (excluding those of Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld and Princess of Orange-Nassau) were bestowed upon Willem-Alexander. In addition, Maxima, as the spouse of the Dutch monarch, became Queen Consort.

Finally, per tradition, Beatrix and King Willem-Alexander together with Queen Maxima, appeared on the balcony of the Royal Palace with the former monarch announcing to those gathered and watching, her son's ascension as the new monarch. The new king then gave a short speech, thanking his mother for her years of service. With the playing of the national anthem (Wilhelmus), Beatrix left the balcony, making way for the royal couple's children to symbolise the transition of the Royal House.



En route from the Royal Palace to the Nieuwe Kerk, the king was led by a delegation to the Nieuwe Kerk. The delegation consisted of aids carrying both the Charter and Constitution which were placed on the credence table in the front of the throne,


then came the Sword of state that represents the King's authority; carried by the then Chief of Defence General Tom Middendorp, the gonfalon of state, a white banner bearing the 1815 coat of arms of the Netherlands symbolizing the Kingdom of the Netherlands; was carried by the Inspector-General of the Dutch Armed Forces, Air Force general Tom van Ede.[4]


Dutch royal house[edit]

Foreign Royalties[edit]



The inauguration of Willem-Alexander as King of the Netherlands took place during a special session of the States General of the Netherlands in the Nieuwe Kerk. During the inauguration ceremony, Willem-Alexander took his oath of office and swore to uphold the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Constitution of the Netherlands. Following Willem-Alexander's swearing in, the members of the States General were duly sworn, to uphold the king to his oath.

For the ceremony the King chose to don underneath the royal mantle evening dress as opposed to a military uniform. He wore as Grand Master the sash and badge of the Military Order of William, and wore as grand master of all national/dynastic orders their decorations in miniature form.

The throne consisted out of two luxurious chairs from Het Loo Palace that were a gift to Queen Wilhelmina from the residents of Amsterdam. The original intent was to use the same chairs that were used during the inauguration of the Queen Beatrix in 1980. It soon came be apparent, however, that this would be impossible as the chairs were too low to be seated in comfortably.[6]

On the credence table lay the three representations of the Kingdom. The Regalia of the Netherlands lay next to the Constitution. The crown symbolized the monarch's sovereignty and dignity, the royal scepter symbolizing the monarch's authority, the orb symbolizing the dominions upon which he reigns and the constitution symbolizing the constitutional monarchy.

Arriving at the Nieuwe Kerk, the royal couple was escorted by a special delegation that included the Chairwoman of the House of Representatives, four members of the States General and the Chamberlain of the senate to their seats.

That same day, which also happened to be Queen's Day as well, Armin van Buuren was the headline act in a performance to a live audience celebrating the King's crowning in Amsterdam. While he was performing live together with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Amsterdam Harbor on Java-eiland, King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and their three daughters made an unplanned visit on stage.[7][8]


  1. ^ De volledige toespraak van koningin Beatrix, NOS, 23 maart 2013
  2. ^ Hét interview met Willem-Alexander en Máxima, NOS, 17 April 2013
  3. ^ Weigeraars achterin kerk tijdens inhuldiging, Trouw, 19 April 2013
  4. ^ Legerchef Middendorp draagt rijkszwaard, Metro, 11 April 2013
  5. ^ "Dutch abdication: guest list for Willem-Alexander's investiture". Associated Press. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  6. ^ Prins betreurt controverse Koningslied, Algemeen Dagblad, 23 April 2013
  7. ^ "Armin van Buuren & The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra perform for new Dutch king Willem-Alexander". Armada Music. 19 May 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  8. ^ "'Uitstapje' koningspaar stond niet in draaiboeken ('pleasure-trip' of royal couple was not part of plan of action)". De Morgen. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2020.

External links[edit]

52°22′26″N 4°53′30″E / 52.3739°N 4.8918°E / 52.3739; 4.8918