Dutch Royalty

The coat of arms of the monarch of the Netherlands.

The coat of arms of the monarch of the Netherlands.

The international image of the United Kingdom is closely tied with the British Monarchy; the British royal family are worldwide celebrities.

But few people know that the Netherlands is also a constitutional monarchy (since 1815) and the Dutch have their own (albeit less famous) royal family, who also appear in tabloids and on post cards.

The royal dynasty descends from a lineage called the House of Orange-Nassau, which traces itself back to William I, Prince of Orange, a nobleman. He was the principal leader of the Dutch revolt against Spain, which led to the formal independence of the Dutch Republic in 1648.

The Dutch Royal Family, looking very Dutch.

The Dutch Royal Family, looking very Dutch.

Therefore orange is the colour of the Dutch royal family and orange has come to more broadly symbolize Dutch pride. On Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag), a national holiday on April 30th, everyone celebrates the queen’s birthday by dressing in bright orange, taking to the streets, and drinking their body weight in alcohol.

The current queen is Queen Beatrix, and her birthday is actually on January 31st. However, her official birthday takes place on Queen’s Day on April 30th, which is the birthday of her mother Juliana, the former queen.


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About Home Strange Home

I first left the US in 1999, when I was 18 years old. Since then, I’ve spent 13 years living abroad - 3 in Canada, 7 in Europe, and 3 in Africa. Now I've finally returned to the US on a one-way plane ticket. I arrived home in late January 2014 and set foot in the US for the first time in nearly 2.5 years. In Home Strange Home, I blog about the ups and downs of my re-acculturation experience.
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One Response to Dutch Royalty

  1. Pingback: Dutch beers… saved by the Belgians « What the Dutch

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