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A glittering occasion as Maxima and Willem mark Prince's day in The Hague

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The charismatic crown princess and her husband accompanied his mother Queen Beatrix to the Ridderzaal building of The Hague for her speech to the general assembly of parliament
 Photo: © PA

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The event, dating back to the 18th century, involves the horse-drawn procession of her carriage through the streets of the Dutch city
 

16 SEPTEMBER 2009

The full majesty of the Dutch monarchy was on display as the country's royal family gathered together to celebrate Prince's Day in the Netherlands this week.

Fresh from their triumphant tour of New York and a meeting with the Obamas, Crown Princess Maxima and husband Willem-Alexander were supporting his mother Queen Beatrix for the occasion marking the opening of parliament.

Decked out in all their finery – Maxima in a floor-length gown and sash and Willem in military dress - the couple joined the royal matriarch in a regal appearance on the balcony of Noordeinde Palace, her working residence in The Hague.

Earlier in the day, the 71-year-old sovereign, one of Europe's most popular with an approval rating of 85 per cent, arrived at the Ridderzaal – or Knights' Hall – building in the city centre.

She was borne by an elaborate golden horse-drawn carriage, flanked by smartly liveried guards.

There in a tradition dating back to the 18th century, she addressed politicians in a speech outlining the government's plans for the year ahead.

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