After opening the parliament in The Hague, Queen Beatrix returned to the royal palace where she was joined by the royal couple, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima
Photo: © PA

Queen Beatrix's annual speech to the parliament traditionally launches the political year
Photo: © PA

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands opened the Dutch parliament in The Hague on Tuesday with all the pomp and pageantry that traditionally brings an end to the nationís summer break.

As crowds cheered her on her way, the Queen rode through from the Palace of Noordeinde to the Binnenhof parliament in the Golden Coach, where a plenary session of both Houses of the States General had been convened in the Knights' Hall.

Wearing an elegant black and navy suit, the monarch delivered her annual speech from the throne of the parliament, before the government announced its policy plans for the coming year.

Afterwards, Queen Beatrix returned to the royal palace to wave to the crowds from the balcony. She was joined by Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Princess Maxima, who made a bright splash of colour in her elegant flame-red suit and neat little feather hair adornment.

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