Princess Maxima of The Netherlands and her family made a happy party of five as they headed out to a pre-Christmas carnival. Blending into the crowd like any other parents, the Argentine-born royal and her husband Willem-Alexander hoisted their daughters on to their shoulders so they could get a closer look at the Saint Nicholas pageant in the town of Wassennar.
The weekend's festivities were held in honour of Black Peter, the page who in local folklore heralds the arrival of Saint Nicholas – the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus – on December 5.
Christmas is an extra special time in the royal household as the couple's eldest Amalia celebrates her birthday two days after the feast of Saint Nicholas. This year the little girl turns five, while her sisters Alexia and Ariane are three and one respectively.