Technically speaking it is not the opening op Parliament. There is no closure, thus there no longer is an official opening, but nevertheless the Speech from the Throne each third Tuesday in September marks the new parliamentary season.
In fine Autumn weather Queen Beatrix rode in her Golden Coach to the splendid ancient Knight's Hall at Binnenhof and read the government's message to the members of both houses of parliament. No crowns or tiaras as is customary in the United Kingdom, but still gala dress and an uniform for the heir to the throne, the Prince of Orange.
The queen is accompanied by her sister Princess Margriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven, by her eldest son Prince Willem-Alexander, his wife Princess Maxima, and by her youngest son Prince Constantijn and his wife Princess Laurentien.
After the speech is delivered the royals return to Noordeinde Palace where they briefly appear on the balcony, always a highlight for those visiting The Hague on this special day - Prinsjesdag, or Prince's Day - in the Dutch political, social and royal calendar.
This year's event was slightly different, as the speech was written by a caretaker government and read to a parliament to be replaced in two days time, as the Netherlands had elections less than one week ago. The Budget presented by outgoing Minister of Finance Jan Kees de Jager may not hold very long; the queen's income it said though to be reduced by 5,000 euros.
© RB; Photos by © Dutch Photo Press and Royal Press Europe