Royal pomp and ceremony
Published: 13 August 2012 Modified: 21 August 2012
Each week on Wednesday H.M. Queen Beatrix receives in audience the heads of foreign diplomatic missions to the Netherlands, when they come to present their letters of credence (geloofsbrieven) at Noordeinde Palace.
An unusual and little-known ceremony!
The ceremony is conducted with a great deal of pomp and ceremony in order to underline the respect of the Netherlands for its foreign relations at the highest level.
A state carriage arrives at the ambassador’s residence (if it is located in The Hague or environs) to fetch the newly-arrived ambassador for a ride to Noordeinde Palace. The carriage is drawn by two horses, with coachmen and footmen in full regalia.
Upon arrival at the palace, ambassadors are welcomed by a special honour guard and a military band. After a salute of honour and a drum roll, the national anthem of the ambassador’s country is played. The ambassador then inspects the honour guard and enters the palace. After a short talk with the Queen, the ambassador rides back again in the state carriage.
Some 170 foreign ambassadors are accredited in the Netherlands.
For security reasons, this ceremony is announced only shortly before it takes place.
VVV The Hague (Tourist Information Office)
Telephone: 070 - 361 88 60