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01. Welcome to The Hague

Royal residence and regal allure

The history of the Kingdom of the Netherlands begins in The Hague. It was here on November 30, 1813 that Prince Willem Frederik of Oranje-Nassau, after sailing from England, landed on the beach at Scheveningen. He was the first king of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and established his residence in The Hague. Ever since, The Hague has been both the seat of government and the residence of the Dutch royal family. And it is that special status that is reflected in the city’s regal allure.

The Hague and the Kingdom of the Netherlands remain closely linked. The Noordeinde Palace has long served as the working palace of the king as head of state. And King Willem-Alexander has, just as his predecessor, Princess (formerly Queen) Beatrix, chosen to make the Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague his official residence. Every year on ‘Prinsjesdag’, the king rides through the city in a horse-drawn carriage and then gives the ‘Troonrede’, a speech in which he presents the government’s policy proposals for the coming year.

The royal traditions also have an important role to play on the international level. New ambassadors ride through The Hague to the Noordeinde Palace in a ceremonial carriage to officially present their credentials to the king. The Netherlands hosts around 170 ambassadors from friendly nations, and nearly all of them are based in The Hague.

The regal allure of The Hague is clearly evident all around the city. You’ll find it in the stately mansions in the ‘Lange Voorhout’ and in the ‘Statenkwartier’, in names like ‘Plein 1813’ and the ‘Hofkwartier’ that are associated with the history and traditions of the city, as well as in in organisations, businesses and shops in The Hague. In The Hague, the king grants the status of ‘royal’ or ‘purveyor to the royal family’ to organisations that have established reputations for quality and integrity, including the Royal Theatre, the Royal Academy of Art, the Royal Conservatory and Royal Dutch Shell. All of these organisations based in The Hague epitomise exceptional quality – the allure that typifies The Hague.

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