Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 07:53
Many Royals at the Inauguration
Only a few ruling dynasties will not be represented at the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander. The Dutch Royal family will welcome an impressive delegation of the remaining monarchies in the world. The most prominent guests are Britain's Prince Charles, the Japanese royal couple and Prince Albert II of Monaco. The exact number of monarchies is a matter of definition. Andorra, for example, is officially a principality, but acting as co-princes are a bishop and the president of France. The Vatican is formally a monarchy, but the Pope, as prelate, does not attend royal events. Samoa's head of state is a 'chief', who is not widely recognized as a 'prince'. Of the 'real' kingdoms, only a few will not send a royal member to Amsterdam: Bhutan, Cambodia, Lesotho, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland, Tonga and Kuwait. These countries will instead send a representative, in most cases an ambassador. The tradition that foreign dynasties are present at the coronation or installation of a new king is not very old, at least not in the Netherlands. Queen Wilhelmina, in 1898, explicitly announced that the inauguration was a matter between the Dutch people and the Queen herself. Willem-Alexander will have, on April 30, the largest group of foreign royalty ever to visit an inauguration in the Netherlands. This can very well be seen, as a sign of the extensive network of the Dutch royal family and the international appreciation for the future King and the abdicating Queen Beatrix.