The traditional biennial gala dinner of the Dutch Council of State took place this Wednesday, September 14, 2022. For the first time, Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange attended as host of the event, alongside of her parents, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima.
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The biennial gala dinner in honor of the Council of State
By reaching majority on December 8, 2021, Princess Catharina-Amalia, known simply as Amalia, won the right to sit on the highest advisory body in the Netherlands. The day after her 18th birthday, the Princess of Orange was presented to the Council of State for the first time. His father, King Willem-Alexander, is the President of the Council of State but he only sits on rare occasions because it is a ceremonial function. The vice-president represents him and replaces him in the daily management.
King Willem-Alexander has the right to appoint the vice-president who represents him as well as the ten members who make up the Council. Queen Máxima has served on the Council of State since 2004, two years after her marriage, in an advisory capacity only. They do not have the right to vote and do not sit in the Administrative Jurisdiction Division.
The Dutch sovereigns have a tradition of organizing a gala dinner for the members of the Council of State every two years. This year, Princess Amalia joined her parents on the invitation card. This is his first participation in the gala but also his first time as host of a major official event. The gala took place at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, the sovereign’s workplace. The gala is usually biennial, but it had not been organized for three years, due to the health crisis.
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The Princess of Orange is officially hosting her first gala
For her first appearance at the gala, Princess Amalia chose a beautiful glittering sequin dress. The dress is signed Mac Duggal. This is the first time we can see the heiress to the throne in this dress. Queen Máxima wore a Claes Iversen dress, as identified by Royal Fashion Police.
Since coming of age as the Princess of Orange, each new event is a first time for the heir to the throne. Last June, she wore a tiara for the very first time, while attending her first international gala dinner in Norway. Returning to university for the first time a week ago, Princess Amalia has her first official trip outside the mainland of the Netherlands which is already scheduled for the beginning of 2023, when she will visit the Caribbean territories of the kingdom.
King Willem-Alexander took the floor and delivered the welcoming address. “We have been your guests at the Kneuterdijk for nine months and I have been allowed to introduce my daughter to the Council. A memorable day and a wonderful gathering”recalled the sovereign in his speech.
“Faced with the complexity of the requests for advice and the incoming files, we cannot help but have respect for the people who devote themselves to it with such professionalism and a sense of responsibility. I think we are all very aware of what is at stake. Trust in government and in institutions is under pressure. It is important that this trust be reinforced. That citizens feel heard and understood. And that governments can continue to do their job in the service of the general interest and the rule of law”underlined the Head of State. “The Council of State plays an indispensable role in all of this”.
In the Netherlands, the Council of State was instituted by Charles V in 1531, and it still exists in some form in the country. However, its function has evolved over time. Today, the Council of State is an important advisory body for the government but also the highest judicial body that can rule on a dispute between citizens and the government. There are therefore two branches of the Council: the Advisory Division and the Administrative Jurisdiction Division.