Last week I basically met the Dutch Queen. Maybe I didn’t technically meet her but she did wave at me. It could have been me or one of the other 300 people around me. But I was pretty close to her for about 45 seconds. There was only 10 meters, 2 policemen, 4 marines, and a golden carriage between us. If that doesn’t sound like the beginning of a lasting friendship I don’t know what does.
So how did this whole queen drive-by take place? Every year on a day called prinsjesdag – aka budget day, the queen rides her golden carriage from the palace to parliament. She then sits on her throne and gives a speech to parliament concerning the upcoming year’s budget.
As I’m not from a country with a monarchy this sounded like quite the spectacle. Queen waving at the commoners- great! Golden carriage – even better! My host-family gave me the day off and I met up with my friend Vic. We arrived an hour and found a pretty good spot, it didn’t take long for the sidewalk to fill in behind us. By the time the Queen drove by people were 6 rows deep.
Before Q. Beatrix (we’re on a first name basis) came, there was a procession of men/woman on horses, the armed forces, marching bands, even a marching on horseback. Then the royal family cruised on by, lookin’ good waving like pros. After less than a minute it was all over. We looked around for a couple seconds and walked away. It was over like that. Then we got cheesecake.