Royalty and statesmen

Accompanied by her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima, Queen Beatrix takes part in a ceremony dating back to the 18th century
Photo: Rex
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The Dutch monarch arrived in the Golden Carriage, which is only used for the Prince's Day festivities and the weddings of members of the royal family
Photo: Rex

High pomp as Dutch and Swedish royals open their parliaments

Reserved for the most hallowed state occasions, the gilded coach is drawn by eight horses and accompanied by royal guards dressed in 19th-century military apparel.

Though the occasion marks the presentation of the government's policies, almost as talked about is the royal ladies' headgear - and the very fashionable lavender worn by Crown Princess Maxima, the wife of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, attracted plenty of notice.

Tuesday's festivities coincided with the opening of Sweden's parliament, the Riksdag, which Crown Princess Victoria attended along with her parents, Queen Silvia and King Carl Gustaf.

The pomp and circumstance was an opportunity for the royal clan to present a united front after Victoria this week defended her father against suggestions he was blocking a possible engagement with her boyfriend Daniel Westling.

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