HM King Willem-Alexander’s peers were on hand as one of their own took the step they too will eventually take and became monarch of The Netherlands today, April 30. It is tradition that when an heir’s time comes the other royal families send their own heirs to take part in the events. From the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms came Europe’s longest serving heir, HRH The Prince of Wales and his wife HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. The youngest heir, before festivities today gave Princess Amalia that title, HRH Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume was on hand with his new wife HRH Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie. They were attending their most high profile event since their wedding. HIH Crown Prince Naruhito usually attends these events solo, but was clearly beaming as he was accompanied by his wife Crown Princess Masako. She was making her first official trip abroad since 2002. The Scandinavian royals were all on hand with TRH Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit from Norway, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel from Sweden, and Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary from Denmark. The tiny principality of Liechtenstein sent their regent, but still heir, HSH Hereditary Prince Alois and his wife HSH Hereditary Princess Sophie.
While royals from other countries were out in number, the Dutch royal cousins were also on hand. They are immensely popular within The Netherlands but not known as well abroad. The Membership of the Royal House Act limits the line of succession to “three degrees of kinship from the monarch.” So with the ascension of Willem-Alexander to the throne, his cousins HH Prince Maurits and HH Prince Bernhard are removed from the line of succession. Their mother HRH Princess Margriet remains in the line of succession in the eighth and final spot. Maurits, Bernhard their two brothers and all their wives were on hand to support their cousin including Princess Aimee who is pregnant and due in July.
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TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall
TRH The Prince of Wales, Europe’s longest serving heir, and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall leave the inauguration ceremony in Amsterdam. Typically for large gatherings the UK is represented by The Earl and Countess of Wessex, but tradition dictates for an event such as this that the heir should attend.
TRH Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel
TRH Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden. Princess Victoria is the first heiress apparent in Europe and now young Princess Amalia joins her in the exclusive company. Princess Victoria is godmother to Amalia.
TIH Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako
HIH Crown Prince Naruhito is typically at royal events solo, but was clearly beaming as he was accompanied by his wife Crown Princess Masako. She was making her first official trip abroad since 2002. She was diagnosed with a stress-related illness and has been in treatment for many years.
TRH The Prince and Princess of Asturias
TRH The Prince and Princess of Asturias from Spain. The Prince arrives amid great turmoil in the monarchy at home with many calling for his father to abdicate the throne.
TRH The Duke and Duchess of Brabant
From Belgium came TRH The Duke and Duchess of Brabant. Princess Mathilde is known to have a very close relationship to Queen Maxima and the two take on a few joint engagements a year. Both are Knights Grand Cross in the Order of Orange-Nassau and are thus wearing the sash and star.
TRH Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie
Newly married Guillaume and Stephanie are attending their first major foreign event since many of these same royals attended their wedding in Luxembourg.
TRH Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit
From Norway came TRH Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. They are close with the other Scandinavian royals and typically all attend these events. Both are wearing the sash and star as Knights Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau.
TRH Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary
TRH Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark were on hand. Princess Mary shares much in common with Queen Maxima having been foreign born and marrying the heir to the throne. Both are extremely popular in their adopted countries.
TSH Prince Alois and Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein
TSH Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein joined in the festivities. Unlike his peers, Prince Alois has served for a number of years as regent in the principality, running the day to day operations of the government. The country remains the most pure absolute monarchy remaining in Europe.
HRH Princess Lalla Salma
HRH Princess Lalla Salma represents Morocco. She typically attends royal events representing her husband King Mohammed VI. She is the first wife of a Moroccan ruler to have been publicly acknowledged and given a royal title.
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco
HSH Prince Albert of Monaco attended the festivities, previous to today he was the shortest serving monarch in Europe having taken the throne in 2005. (This does not take into account the Pope)
TH Prince Maurits and Princess Mariléne
TH Prince Maurits and Princess Mariléne, first cousins of King Willem-Alexander. Prince Maurits lost his place in the line of success with the ascension. The couple does not take on royal duties, but is often seen at Queen’s (now King’s) Day festivities.
TH Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette
TH Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette, first cousins of King Willem-Alexander. Prince Bernhard lost his place in the line of success with the ascension. The couple does not take on royal duties, but is often seen at Queen’s (now King’s) Day festivities. Seen in the background are his younger brothers and their wives.
TH Prince Floris and Princess Aimee
TH Prince Floris and Princess Aimee of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven. Prince Floris is first cousin of the King and is the youngest of Princess Margiet’s four sons. The couple is expecting their third child in mid July 2013.