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Queen Máxima looks radiant in red as she celebrates Prince's Day


It may have been Prince's Day in the Netherlands but the beautiful Queen Máxima courted all attention. The annual celebration, traditionally held on the third Tuesday of September, is an opportunity for the country's reigning monarch to open the new parliamentary session. King Willem-Alexander presided over the main ceremony while his wife Máxima was at his side to show her full support.

The queen looked radiant in red, wearing an immaculate floor length gown and matching hat. She completed her regal look with a blue and orange sash – the national color of the country – and a pearl brooch to compliment her striking pearl drop earrings. Willem-Alexander looked just as handsome, dressed in his finest pin-striped trousers and a morning coat for one of the biggest events in the royal calendar in The Hague. The couple arrived in style at the Ridderzaal – or Knight's Hall – in a golden carriage. Willem-Alexander kicked off the day by delivering the Speech from the Throne, usually written by the prime minister and cabinet, in which he announced the plans for the new parliamentary year.

The king and queen then made their way to the balcony of the Noordeinde Palace, where they were joined by Willem-Alexander's younger brother Prince Constantijn and his wife Princess Laurentien. The group of four greeted the crowds of well-wishers who had gathered below and turned out to cheer the royal family. The reigning monarch's 76-year-old mother Princess Beatrix, who abdicated from the throne last year, was spotted joining in the revelry and waving from the King's Office.

Prince's Day was originally a celebration of the March 8 birthday of Prince William V in the eighteenth century, but its purpose changed to show demonstrations of loyalty to the House of Orange. Nowadays the king uses it to set out the main features of government policy, while the minister of finance proposes the next year's national budget.

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