This week, a future monarch reached the age of majority. Today, we’ve got a look at the first important official act for the future Queen Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands—plus reasons why we’ve got plenty of hope for lots of sparkling tiaras in her future!
The Princess of Orange, the eldest of the three daughters of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, turned 18 on Tuesday, December 7. On Wednesday, she joined her parents in The Hague for a special meeting of the Council of State.
The Council of State (Raad van State) is an advisory body in the Netherlands that has an important constitutional role in the proposal of legislation. Its members come from a range of occupations, including politicians, economists, legal experts, and diplomats. King Willem-Alexander is the president of the body, and Queen Maxima has been a member of the Council since their wedding in 2002.
During the session, Willem-Alexander expressed gratitude on behalf of his wife and himself to the other members of the council: “My wife and I are delighted to be in your midst, together with our eldest daughter. We are proud to accompany her in her entry into this Council, which fulfills such an important function in our democratic constitutional state. I know how much expertise, experience and genuine commitment have been brought together within the Council. We are grateful for your warm welcome to our daughter and for your willingness to introduce her to the content of your work in future years.”
On Tuesday, Princess Amalia officially became a member of the Council of State as well. A special session was convened on Wednesday and was aired on television in the Netherlands. During the session, Amalia delivered prepared remarks. “Since yesterday, as our constitution also solemnly formulates, I have a rightful seat in the Council of State,” she said. “And that has everything to do with the office that awaits me. In the distant future, I hope. Although there is always the realization that it could be tomorrow.”
In the speech, she acknowledged that she has much to learn: “I realize how little I know about the tasks of government, the assessment of laws, the functioning of the administration, and the role of the judge.” She added later on, “There is no school for becoming queen as there is for lawyer, teacher, baker. So I think we need to look at what they did in the past but also keep a close eye on what is happening now and move with the times.” She quoted part of the speech her grandmother, Princess Beatrix, had delivered to the same body in 1956: “For a very long time, members of the Council of State, I will regard myself as your pupil. I will—conscious of my responsibility—try to be a good student.”
Princess Amalia graduated from secondary school in June, and she is currently taking a gap year before beginning further studies. Even so, it will probably be some time before she begins attending council sessions regularly. But the day marked an important step for the young princess, who is now eligible to succeed her father as the head of state of the Netherlands. To mark the occasion, Amalia planted a royal lime in the French Garden of Kneuterdijk Palace.
Princess Amalia wore simple, age-appropriate clothes for her first major moment as an adult member of the royal family. She chose a navy and white dress with a small floral print, plus a navy jacket and accessories.
She kept her jewelry simple as well. Her hairstyle mostly hid the long gold earrings that she wore, but her necklace was easier to decipher: it’s a gold piece with two pendants, a circle and her initial, the letter “A.”
She also wore a slim diamond and aquamarine ring on her right hand, plus a stack of bracelets, including an evil eye bangle. (She’s definitely Maxima’s daughter!)
Speaking of Maxima: she wore a bright ensemble in shades of cherry red and burgundy for the occasion. Her large picture hat, with its big flower embellishment, was the most eye-catching part of the outfit.
Like Amalia, Maxima kept her jewels simple for this important occasion, wearing just a pair of classic diamond stud earrings. Sentimentally, she also wore the diamond and ruby ring that King Willem-Alexander gave her to mark Amalia’s birth in 2003.
To mark Amalia’s important milestone birthday, new portraits were also released by the royal family. Here, with a lovely red dress, she wears gold jewelry with subtle heart designs. The photographs were taken this autumn at Huis ten Bosch Palace.
Even more exciting, though, is another photograph that the royal family has also recently made available. This picture of young Princess Amalia was taken in October 2012, as her parents were preparing to travel to Luxembourg for the wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie. Little Amalia is balancing a big tiara—the Mellerio Ruby Parure Tiara—on her small head. The picture was released along with a new biography of the princess. In the book, she reveals that she’s absolutely mad about tiaras.
She told her biographer, “I love tiaras. Show me a tiara, and I’ll know where it came from. I can recognize all the tiaras of Europe. I used to put them on from my mother. Then there would be one on her make-up table and I would have it directly on my head.” (Dare we hope that she might be one of the readers logging on here at The Court Jeweller?) The best news of all is that now Amalia is eligible to attend events and wear tiaras. Perhaps we’ll see her trying one out soon, for a diplomatic reception or even a state banquet? Which tiara do you hope to see her wear first?